The Sheep and the Shepherd– Lesson #21





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.


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.


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.


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

(John 10:3-4).

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).


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.



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).


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).


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.


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.


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.


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).




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 __________________________    _______

Personal Questions:


About drgeorgewatkins

"That the Kingdom of God will rule ,with power, on earth as it rules in Heaven." My life time quest. G.W. BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION Rev. George Watkins pastored Christian Life World Outreach and Training Center in Mount Vernon, Washington for 29 years. He is director of George Watkins Ministries a.k.a. WORLDNet Ministries and has ministered through radio broadcasting, audio tape ministry, and a correspondence Bible course reaching into many countries of the world. Ministry teams have traveled with him to over twenty nations, working with local missionaries to establish churches, and conduct crusades and pastors’ seminars. George Watkins has authored several books: Women in Today’s Church, a scriptural insight into God’s intentions for both men and women to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ; Five Key Secrets to Long Life and Divine Health concerning God’s supernatural protection and promises to those who obey Him; and Staying Free, a mini-book used as a guide to maintaining freedom once delivered from the bondages of satan; Ask The Boy: stories through the eyes of those who were healed by the hands of Jesus. The Wisest Man I Have Ever Known: stories and parables teaching the truths of God’s word, as well as other teaching manuals. George Watkins has been active in the ministry for many years. He has a strong ministry to the local church as a seasoned veteran with his rich background as a pastor and evangelist. Many churches draw from his experience and consider him to be an integral part of their own ministries. His ministry is a blend of humor and straight forward teaching based on the belief that God means what He says, that His Word applies to our everyday, practical lives, and that it has power to make us whole in mind, body and soul. Rev. Watkins believes that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to be used by every believer. He believes that using these spiritual tools will bring freedom to those in bondage. Rev. Watkins believes this is the age of the supernatural and will prove to be the Church’s finest hour. His vision is to equip the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission, making disciples of all nations. He has a unique ability to challenge the hearer to “sell out” to God, by faith, to fulfill God’s personal plan for your destiny. George and Arlis live in Mount Vernon, WA and are the parents of three adult children: Tony, Tiffany and Corbin.
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