Why do we Need a Good Shepherd?7 min read

Good Shepherd

Why do we Need a Good Shepherd?7 min read

We need a Good Shepherd for all us like sheep have gone astray. Without a Good Shepherd we are totally lost and without hope.

Each of us has turned to his own way. But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him, Isaiah 53:6. He took a just punishment in our place, that He did not deserve.

Our Good Shepherd

Jesus is our Good Shepherd, as prophesied in Psalm 23. This Psalm is a vivid picture of a personal relationship with our Saviour.

Shepherds were considered the lowest occupation in the Jewish community. Yet, it was the lowly shepherds who were blessed with angelic visitation. They were the first to receive the announcement of the birth of the long awaited Messiah, Luke 2:8. God chose to dwell among men, so they could know Him and He could raise man up to His level and have the gift of eternal life, John 3:16.

Good Shepherd Jesus

Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd, John 10:11, who is beautiful, noble, and true. Jesus was perfect in all His ways for He was total Man and total God.

As the Good Shepherd He left His home in glory in obedience to the Father’s will. He  laid down His life for all the sheep, that they might obtain eternal life, John 10:10, and become citizens of the Kingdom of God.

Helpless Sheep

Sheep left to their own devices quickly get into trouble. They don’t know where clean water is, or where to find nourishing food, or the best places to lie down and rest.

Sheep are one of the few animals that have no form of self-defense against predators, annoying insects, or other infestations. They readily get caught in bramble patches or become cast, unable to get back onto their feet. It is no wonder sheep require a good and faithful shepherd who will diligently care for them.

Spiritually we are in the same place, totally defenseless without Christ, against a sworn enemy and the world of Satanic influence.

The Door

Jesus is also the Door, John 19:10, for no man can come to the Father except through the Son, John 14:6. The Holy Spirit gently calls us to the Son, but it is the Son who paid the price for us, and able to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father. God made Him who knew no sin, to be sin on our behalf. So that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

As the Great Shepherd He rose again, ascended on high and is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He intercedes for His sheep, Hebrews 13:20. The Holy Spirit also intercedes for the sheep with groanings too deep for words, Romans 8:26.


The Good Shepherd not only cares for the sheep, He owns the sheep. We were purchased with a price, 1 Corinthians 6:20, His sinless blood. Those who are followers of Christ are a pearl of great value, not from anything we do but because of what He did.

The sheep bear the mark of that ownership, for we are to reflect the One we fellowship with. Believers are sealed in Christ with the Holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13, and should manifest the fruit of the Spirit, Ephesians 5:22. We are encouraged to mature to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ, Ephesians 4:13. All this can only happen if we spend quality time in the presence of the Good Shepherd.

Man was created for God’s own possession, 1 Peter 2:9, that we might enter an eternal relationship with Him. God planned this from eternity, Revelation 13:8 and His will shall be done.

Personal Relationship

The Good Shepherd knows each of His sheep personally and they know His voice, John 10:14, 27. No matter how hard they try, strangers will not get sheep to respond to them. It needs to be the same spiritually. We need to be aware of strange voices who would turn us away from following the Master.

The shepherd is always with the sheep and knows each and every need the sheep have. Before we even ask, the Lord knows what we require, Matthew 6:8. Our prayers should not be like a shopping list, but instead, thanks and praise for His wonderful provision. Thank Him that we were healed at Calvary, Isaiah 53:5, so there is no need to plead endlessly for a healing to manifest. It will in God’s time.

Fresh Food

The Good Shepherd takes the sheep out to fresh pasture every day. He knows where to lead them to the choicest pasture and goes before them. Not only that, He has already checked the area out, and is aware of any predators who would destroy the flock.

The Word of God is a living word, where we gain fresh insights by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is important to turn daily to the Word of God. After all, it is God’s glory to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter, Proverbs 25:2.

The sheep do not gain sustenance by picking aimlessly at the grass. They diligently feed on it, particularly in the early morning when there is dew on the grass. This may be the only form of moisture they have access to.

Like sheep we will get little sustenance if we only ‘pick’ at the Word of God. We need to be diligent seekers as a regular spiritual diet, in order to begin the maturing process.

The Good Shepherd’s Pleasure

The Good Shepherd gets pleasure from being with His flock. It is a delight to see the young lambs skipping and leaping in the late afternoon sun, or watch the flock nestle down for a midday rest, having grazed all morning. The shepherd leans contentedly on his crook and runs his eyes across the flock, enjoying their company.

It is a two-way relationship, as the flock also enjoys his company, for He is their Comforter and security. They know the Shepherd is always near them and will never forsake them, Hebrews 13:5.

It is the same for the believer. The Lord enjoys our worship and adoration, just as we get pleasure from His presence. The things of the world grow strangely dim and there is a deep abiding refreshing.

Always There

The Good Shepherd is always there and ready to carry any lame or hurt lamb on His shoulders.

Not only that, we have the privilege of having the Father, Son and Holy Spirit abide in us. If anyone love Me, he will keep my Word and My Father will love him and We will come to Him and make Our abode with him, John 14:23.

The prophet wrote, The Lord your God is your midst. A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy. He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy, Zephaniah 3:17. This is not some gentle approving smile, but a wild exultation over His people.

Joint Heirs

As true followers of Christ, our life is hid with Christ in God, with all the wonders of being joint-heirs with Him, Colossians 3:3. We have the privilege of partaking of everything the Good Shepherd is and has. We will reign with Him eternally, 2 Timothy 2:12.

As the Chief Shepherd He will return to reward those who care for His flock, 1Peter 2:25. We will live for eternity in the presence of the Good Shepherd, loving the Father.

Be assured that the Good Shepherd is with us through every fiery trial and testing. We must keep our eyes firmly on the Good Shepherd, for He alone is our protection and our salvation.

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Wendy Stenberg-Tendys is a freelance writer who enjoys researching a topic and sharing words of encouragement, particularly from the Word of God.

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