THE LAWS OF THE KINGDOM
THE SHEEP AND THE SHEPHERD
There has been much teaching on the role of the pastor and his relationship to those in his congregation. Many have been hurt by those who have taken this teaching to extreme measures by lording over every aspect of their lives. Others have missed the fullness of God’s purpose for His Church by failing to submit themselves to a local church body and pastor. Let us examine the Scriptures to find God’s balance for our lives in this area.
(1) WHAT IS A SHEPHERD?
The word “shepherd” is used in both the Old and New Testament. It means “one who tends herds or flocks” (not merely one who feeds them). Both the Hebrew and Greek words, translated as “shepherd”, also are translated “pastor”. This is because they are actually one and the same.
(2) IS JESUS THE ONLY SHEPHERD?
A. NO. Jesus is spoken of as the “Chief Shepherd”.
B. Jeremiah prophesied that the Lord would set up shepherds (plural) over His people (Jeremiah 23:3-4).
C. Pastors (or shepherds) were given to the Church as a gift (Ephesians 4:11).
D. Even though the Bible tells us that the Lord is our shepherd, He has chosen to establish under-shepherds to minister to His people.
(3) WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A SHEPHERD?
A. We can tell, by the indictment against the Old Testament shepherd, what the Lord expects of them (Ezekiel 34:2-4). 1. Feed the flock.
2. Strengthen the sheep that are diseased.
3. Heal those that are sick.
4. Bind up those that are broken.
5. Bring back those who were driven away.
6. Seek for those that are lost.
7. Not rule with force or cruelty.
B. Jeremiah prophesied (Jeremiah 3:15) that His shepherds would:
1. Be shepherds after His own heart.
2. Feed the sheep knowledge and understanding.
C. Jesus said the following about a shepherd:
1. He calls his own sheep by name, leads them out and goes before them
2. He will be willing to lay down his own life for the sheep (John 10:11-13).
D. Further New Testament Scriptures tell us:
1. A shepherd should be on guard, for himself and God’s flock, against
savage wolves (Acts 20:28-29).
2. A shepherd should take oversight of his flock, not by constraint, but willingly: not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind (I Peter 5:2). 3. A shepherd watches for the souls of those who are placed under him, as one who will give account for them (Hebrews 13:17).
4. The pastor/shepherd, along with the other four gift ministries, are to perfect and/or equip the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
(4) HOW LONG WILL THE MINISTRY OF THE PASTOR/SHEPHERD EXIST?
We can glean from the fourth chapter of Ephesians, verse twelve, that the “pastor” and other gift ministries are to remain until we all come into:
A. The unity of the faith.
B. The knowledge of the Son of God.
C. Unto a perfect (mature) man.
D. Unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
These Scriptures clearly indicate that a pastor or “shepherd” is not only responsible for preaching, but also is to guard the very lives of those that God has placed in his congregation. The pastor is responsible for the feeding, gathering, and the leading of the sheep in his flock. Our next lesson will discuss the role of the congregation, or sheep in relationship to their pastor.
THE SHEEP AND THE SHEPHERD
Throughout the Bible, God’s people are referred to as “sheep” (Psalms 79:13); (100:3). Isaiah said that “all we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). However, Jeremiah prophesied that the Lord would gather them again into folds and they would be fruitful and increase (Jeremiah 23:3-4).
(1) WHAT VALUE DOES GOD PLACE ON HIS SHEEP?
A. We can learn from the parable of “The Lost Sheep” that God considers one sheep worth enough that, even though he may have 99 others, he will search for the one lost sheep until it is found (Luke 15).
B. Jesus looked on the people of His day with compassion, for He saw them as sheep without a shepherd. And although He is the Chief Shepherd, when He ascended on high, He gave the ministry of “a pastor”, that we might have shepherds here on earth (Matthew 9:36); (Ephesians 4:13).
(2) CAN SHEEP CHOOSE TO FOLLOW ONLY THE CHIEF SHEPHERD?
A. The Word God God commands us to submit ourselves to, and obey, those that have the rule over us because they watch for our souls (Hebrews 13:17); (I Corinthians 16:16).
B. Shepherds are exhorted to be examples for the flock. There would be no reason for this if they were not meant to be followed.
(3) SIX “MUSTS” FOR THE SHEEP.
A. Must know the voice of the shepherd.
B. Must follow the shepherd.
C. Must eat what the shepherd feeds.
D. Must heed the warning of the shepherd.
E. Must bear fruit.
F. Must allow the shepherd to shear them.
(4) FIVE KINDS OF SHEEP.
A. Solitary Sheep
1. They stay away from the rest of the flock.
2. They think the rest of the flock is too mature for them.
3. They are always sick.
B. Hermit Sheep
1. They stay away from the flock because they don’t want to be sheared.
2. They refuse to be clipped by the shepherd.
3. They don’t want the pruning of the Holy Spirit.
4. The wool grows over their eyes and they can’t see to protect themselves. 5. The wool weighs them down so that soon, they can’t rise and the wolves come in and devour them. 6. They begin to influence others.
C. Wandering Sheep
1. Never content with things as they are.
2. Whatever God is doing, it is never fast enough, big enough, or good enough to suit them.
3. They always talk about the way it “used to be”. 4. They have a tendency to bring discontentment to other sheep and they themselves can produce “like kind”.
D. Judas Sheep
1. They lead others to the slaughter.
2. They are usually blinded and deceived by their own stubbornness.
3. They always take the opposite opinion of whatever the shepherd is trying to establish.
4. They slander the shepherd.
5. They carry tales abroad.
6. They are unsavory, unruly, wild and have no love for the flock.
E. Contented Sheep
1. Innocent – they trust the shepherd.
2. They are mild, tender-hearted and gracious.
3. Patient – they stick with the flock and they don’t run every time things don’t go their way.
4. They are useful, industrious and get involved.
5. They obey and are submissive.
(5) ARE ALL THOSE IN THE FLOCK HIS SHEEP?
A. (Matthew 7:15) tells us there are wolves who wear sheep’s clothing; that is, they put on the appearance of a sheep. We can tell them by their “fruit”.
B. Some will separate themselves before the coming of the Lord (I John 2:19), while others will not be separated from the flock until He returns (Matthew 13:30).
C. There will be those who arise from within the flock, who will speak perverse things, to draw away disciples unto themselves (Acts 20:30). And we are warned that there will be those who will be deceived and fall away (I Timothy 4:1).
THE LAWS OF THE KINGDOM
LESSON 19—STUDY SHEET
THE SHEEP AND THE SHEPHERD
PART 1 and 2
1. The word “shepherd” is used in both the Old and New Testament. It means “one who____________________________ herds or flacks” (not merely one who feeds them).
2. What is another word for shepherd in the Hebrews and Greek? _________________ ___________________________________________________________________
3. Jeremiah 23:4 And I will set up _________________________________ over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.
4. What are the duties of a shepherd? 1. ___________________________________ 2.___________________________ 3. ___________________________________ 4.___________________________ 5. ___________________________________ 6.___________________________ 7. ___________________________________
5. John 10:11-13 tells us that a shepherd must be willing to lay down ______________ for the sheep.
6. Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ: till we come in the _____________________ of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
7. Jesus looked on the people of His day with compassion, for He saw them as ____________________________without a _______________________________.
8. Shepherds are exhorted to be examples for the flock. There would be no reason for this if they were not meant to be ______________________________________.
9. What are six “musts” for the sheep? 1. __________________________________ 2. __________________________ 3. __________________________________ 4. __________________________ 5. __________________________________ 6. __________________________
10. What does the solitary sheep do? ________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
11. What kind of sheep stay away from the flock because they don’t want to be sheared? ___________________________________________________________________
12. What sheep thinks that whatever God is doing, it is never fast enough, big enough, or good enough to suit them? ______________________________________________
13. What sheep always take the opposite opinion of whatever the shepherd is trying to establish; slander the shepherd; carry tales abroad? _________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
14. What is the contented sheep like? ________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________
15. How can we tell a wolf from a sheep? Matthew 7:15 __________________________ _______