Is Jesus Really The 'Good Shepherd'?

Dr. Bryan Gentry

The title of this article may sound like an attack on the Lord, but it is not. However, there are many who call themselves 'Christians' who do not believe the Lord Jesus is the 'Good Shepherd.' There are two points about the Lord calling Himself the 'Good Shepherd' in John 10 that I would like to address. The first point is the fact that it reveals His deity. In Mark 10:17 a man calls Jesus, "Good Master.” The way the man addressed the Lord may not seem significant to us, but Jesus was going teach a lesson through this. Jesus told the man in verse 18, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.” The lesson here is found in the comparison between the Lord's statement to this rich, young ruler and the fact that Jesus calls Himself the 'Good Shepherd.' You see, if there is none good but God, then Jesus is in reality calling Himself God when He says that He is the 'Good Shepherd.' This cannot be twisted or changed because both statements come directly from the lips of the Lord Himself. Those who do not believe that Jesus is God cannot believe that He is the 'Good Shepherd!' “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12

The Bible is clear that no human can ever be good! IF JESUS IS NOT GOD, THEN HE CANNOT BE 'THE GOOD SHEPHERD!' The second lesson found when the Lord calls Himself 'the Good Shepherd' is that when one is truly saved, that person CANNOT GO TO HELL! The objective of the shepherd is to provide for and keep his sheep. The shepherd leads his flock where they can be provided for and protected. The shepherd leads that flock into a safe, walled pasture and lays across the only opening. The shepherd truly is the 'door.' No sheep can enter without coming through the shepherd and they cannot go out with out him allowing them to leave. Also no other creature except the sheep of that particular shepherd can get in because “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27). That is exactly what the Lord Jesus means when He calls Himself 'The Good Shepherd!'

  1. You can only enter His fold by coming through Jesus, the Shepherd – John 14:6
  2. Jesus only lets His sheep into His pasture – John 10:26
  3. A good shepherd will do all that is in his power to keep his sheep and since the Lord Jesus has all power (Matthew 28:18) and the Bible clearly teaches that “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25), then we can be assured of Heaven if we have truly “come to God through Him.”
  4. Jesus promises that He will never, under any circumstances, cast out “him that cometh to me” (John 6:37). Because the 'Good Shepherd' is the door, He will not let any of His sheep leave His pasture, even if they wanted to. We are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. ” (1 Peter 1:5). Paul said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (2 Tim. 1:12)

A good shepherd is responsible for feeding, watering, leading, protecting and keeping His sheep. A human shepherd may do his best to take care of his sheep, but his abilities are limited and he may occasionally lose a sheep to a bear or a wolf, or even falling off of a cliff. However, the 'Good Shepherd' has no such limitations. He is all-powerful and will never allow anything or anyone to steal one of His sheep. A human shepherd may have a sheep that wanders away from the fold, but the 'Good Shepherd' will never let that happen because He only allows His sheep to come in, never go out. Those who say that one of the Lord's sheep can go to hell are saying that Jesus is not the 'Good Shepherd' and they are calling Him a liar. These people just do not know how great a 'Shepherd' my Jesus is!

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