Lessons from Christ's Ministry: The Good Shepherd

Larissa Tenorio Gessner
March 8, 2018
The resounding lesson and theme of Christ’s ministry is love. It motivated the entire purpose of His life here on this planet. Here He lived and died—a sacrifice of love for you and me.

“But David said to Saul, “I, your servant, have been keeping my father’s sheep. When a lion or bear came and took a sheep from the flock, I would chase it. I would attack it and save the sheep from its mouth. When it attacked me, I caught it by its fur. I would hit it and kill it. I, your servant, have killed both a lion and a bear!” 1 Samuel 17:34-36.

 

Have you ever paid attention to this part of scripture? David is fed up with how the Israelites are lacking faith and are paralyzed with fear. He tries to convince them to let him do something about it. He had risked his life more than once for his flock, endured the loneliness and perils of a shepherd’s life and was still “just a shepherd boy”. The shepherd’s reward was the well-being and love of his sheep—certainly not the people’s admiration.

 

It was this meek profession that Christ chose to illustrate His relationship with humanity. The Shepherd, a common figure at the time, evoked images of self-sacrifice, patience, protection, and, of course, love for the helpless sheep. The resounding lesson and theme of Christ’s ministry is love. It motivated the entire purpose of His life here on this planet. Here He lived and died—a sacrifice of love for you and me.

 

Every commandment and principle He has given is a means by which to protect His sheep from the consequences of evil. And yet, when His sheep stray and are lost, He will not rest until they are found and safe back in the fold.

 

“Christ presents to us no picture of a sorrowful shepherd returning without the sheep. Here is a pledge that not even one of the straying sheep of God's fold is overlooked. Not one is left unhelped. Every one that will submit to be ransomed, the Saviour will rescue from the wilds of sin. Then let every wanderer from the fold take courage. The Good Shepherd is searching for you. Remember that His work is “to save that which was lost.” That means you,” (The Story of Jesus, p. 77).

 

When His sheep suffer the cruel storms of life, the Good Shepherd suffers with them. The world we live in has its hardships and dangers. Some the Shepherd shields us from, but other storms He endures with us.

 

“…whenever one cries to Him for help, the hand of Christ is stretched forth to save.,” (The Story of Jesus, p. 79).

 

“There is no comforter like Christ, so tender and so true. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. His Spirit speaks to the heart. Circumstances may separate us from our friends; the broad, restless ocean may roll between us and them...But no circumstances, no distance, can separate us from the heavenly Comforter. Wherever we are, wherever we may go, He is always there, one given in Christ's place, to act in His stead. He is always at our right hand, to speak soothing, gentle words, to support, sustain, uphold, and cheer. The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul. This Spirit works in and through every one who receives Christ. Those who know the indwelling of this Spirit reveal its fruit—love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Our Father Cares, p. 127).

 

The Good Shepherd ended His ministry on Earth by laying down His life for His sheep. What greater evidence of His love for us than this? Christ’s love for you is everlasting, dear friend.

 

“He died to save us. Though now He is in Heaven, He does not forget us for a moment. He will safely keep every sheep. Not one that follows Him can be taken by the great enemy,” (The Story of Jesus, p. 76).

 

Won’t you accept His care? Answer His call; come into the fold; follow Him.