The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down
in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for His name' sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil: For thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in
the presence of mine enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and
I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever. -- KJV
John 10:1-16 (New King James Version)
Jesus the True Shepherd
assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief
and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep
by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before
them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no
means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6
Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
7 Then Jesus
said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8
All who ever came before Me[a] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door.
If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may
have it more abundantly. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd
gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd,
one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters
them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the
sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My
own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life
for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also
I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
The Last Judgment
The Reading is from Matthew 25:31-46
The Lord said, "When the Son of man comes in his glory and all the holy
angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate
them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but
the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you
came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and
visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you
did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for
the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger
and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also
will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister
to you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to
me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Isaiah 40:11 (New King James Version)
11 He will
feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And
carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
Ezekiel 34:11 (New King James Version)
God, the True Shepherd
thus says the Lord GOD: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.
1 Peter 5:4 (King James Version)
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye
shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
The Good Shepherd: Early Christian catacomb art
Psalm 80:1 (King James Version)
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that
dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
Jeremiah 31:10 (American King James Version)
Hear the word of the LORD, O you nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel
will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock.
5th-century icon at Ravenna
1 Peter 2:20-25 (New King
James Version (NKJV)
20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take
it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to
this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us,
us an example, that you should follow His steps:
22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was
deceit found in His mouth”;
23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did
not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on
the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were
like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls
New King James Version (NKJV)
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to
Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,
do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son
do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,
do you love Me?” Peter
was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that
I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
We should remember what name Christ calls His people, what ttle
He gives to His flock. He calls them sheep, that their Christian innocence might be like that of sheep. He calls them lambs,
that their simlicity of mind might imitate the simple nature of lambs. Why does the wolf lurk under the appearance of sheep?
Why does he who falsely claims to be a Christian dishonor the flock of Christ? To put on the name of Christ and not to walk
in the way of Christ is a mockery of the Divine name and desertion of the way of salvation. Christ teaches that one who keeps
His commandments will receive life, and one who hears and does His words is wise.