Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Shepherd

UV 2259/10000 The Shepherd
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John `10 v 11

History has a record of many bad shepherds who took the lives of their sheep and only one good Shepherd who gave His life for all. In the Napoleonic wars, 916,0000 French lives were lost for the sake of the ambition of one man – Napoleon Bonaparte. 15 million Germans including 6 million Jews were killed by Nazi Germany under Hitler apart from 30 million plus killed in the Second World War. Add to that the deaths caused by Mao of China, Stalin of Russia and so many other tyrants and dictators across the globe, and we have sordid picture of the rapacity, the lust for power and ruthlessness of bad leaders or shepherds. The distinction between the Good Shepherd and the bad shepherds is that the latter takes lives while the Good Shepherd laid down His own life in order to give eternal life to all.

The bad leaders or shepherds strive for the crown of their own glory. Jesus reserves a crown for His faithful followers or sheep. The bad leaders or shepherds give up easily on their lost sheep while Jesus seeks out the lost sheep, the fallen, the afflicted. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep or followers by name or personally and we too know Him personally. The Good Shepherd feeds the souls of His followers and provides daily for their needs. The bad shepherds feed off the fat of the land and deprive their people of the means of their sustenance. They are blood thirsty and willing to sacrifice any of their followers to sustain themselves in a position of leadership. The earthly forebear of Jesus , David as a shepherd wrestled with a bear and a lion to free his sheep from their deadly claws and jaws. Likewise, the Lord and Shepherd of our souls struggles with the enemy to free us from his clutches and jaws.

The sheep can recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd and distinguish it from the imposter. They flock together when they hear His voice. The Good Shepherd protects His followers from a variety of spiritual predators and the wolves who come disguised in sheep skin to prey on them. The Good Shepherd is all powerful and wise. Yet, He is humble and approachable by His followers at all times. The Good Shepherd Jesus knows not just our bleat or our voice but the very beat of our hearts. He knows each one individually and loves each one intimately. The bad shepherds are insecure and feel threatened if anyone else emerges as a rival shepherd or leader. The Good Shepherd is he chief Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. He is ever willing to share His position and power with other leaders He raises up as shepherds for His followers.
Prateep V Philip

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