The Shepherds who are Sheep

Posted on February 13, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“Speaking in real life terms, shepherds and sheep are independent entities. Sure, you might find them lurking in the same field, but whether from near or afar, you’d hardly confuse them. A shepherd is not a sheep and the four legged cud-chewer is clearly not a shepherd.

But in the stream of biblical thinking the same can’t quite be said.  Shepherds are sheep; and some of the sheep are shepherds.  The category of shepherd – a spiritual leader of the flock – is common parlance throughout the Bible (Ezekiel 34, Jeremiah 3:15, John 21:17, 1 Tim 3:1-2, 1 Peter 5:2, Hebrews 13:17). Christ is the Chief Shepherd and his under-shepherds assist him in sheep care (1 Peter 5:1-4).

Yet this is where the twist comes. The shepherd of Christ’s flock is also part of it. They are one of the sheep who has gone astray (Isaiah 53:6) and part of the number for which the Shepherd died (John 10:15). A man may play the role of a shepherd but he never departs his place in the flock. Like the rest, he exclaims with personal assurance: ‘the Lord is my shepherd’ (Psalm 23:1). …”

– At Unashamed Workman, Colin Adams writes to strengthen shepherds.