Saviour spoke of Himself as a shepherd, and of the disciples as His
flock. He said: "I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known
of Mine." John 10:14.
Christ was soon to leave His disciples,
and He said this to give them comfort. When He should be no more with
them, they would remember His words.
Whenever they saw a shepherd watching his
flock, they would think of the Saviour's love and care for them.
In that land the shepherd stayed with his
flock day and night. Over the rocky hills and through the forests he led
them by day, to pleasant, grassy fields by the riverside.
Through the night he watched them,
guarding them from wild beasts and from robbers, that were often lurking
Tenderly He cared for the feeble and
sickly ones. The little lambs He took in His arms, and carried in His
However large the flock, the shepherd
knew every sheep. He had a name for each, and called it by its name.
So Christ, the heavenly Shepherd, cares
for His flock
that is scattered throughout the world. He knows us all by
name. He knows the very house in which we live, and the name of each
inmate. He cares for each one as if there were not another in the whole
The shepherd went before his sheep, and
met all the dangers. He encountered the wild beasts and the robbers.
Sometimes the shepherd was killed while guarding his flock.
So the Saviour guards His flock of
disciples. He has gone before us. He has lived on earth, as we live. He
was a child, a youth, a man. He overcame Satan and all his temptations,
so that we may overcome.
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.
A shepherd might have a hundred sheep,
but if one was missing he did not stay with those that were in the fold.
He went to search for the lost one.
Out in the dark night, through the storm,
over mountains and valleys, he would go. He would not rest till the
sheep was found.
Then he took it in his arms, and carried
it back to the fold. He did not complain of the long, hard search, but
"Rejoice with me; for I have found my
sheep which was lost." Luke 15:4-7.
So the care of the Saviour-Shepherd is
not for those only who are in the fold. He says, "The Son of man is come
to save that which was lost." Matthew 18:11.
"I say unto you, That likewise joy shall
be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and
nine just persons, which need no repentance." Luke 15:7.
We have sinned, and have wandered away
from God. Christ says we are like the sheep that has wandered away from
the fold. He came to help us live without sin. This He calls bringing us
back to the fold.
When we return with the Shepherd, and
cease to sin, Christ says to the angels in Heaven: "Rejoice with Me; for
I have found My sheep which was lost."
And a joyful anthem rings out from the
angelic choir, filling all Heaven with richest melody.
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
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.
To doubt the possibility of your
salvation is to doubt the saving power of Him who purchased you at an
infinite cost. Let faith take the place of unbelief. Look at the hands
that were pierced for you, and rejoice in their power to save.
Remember that God and Christ are
interested in you, and that all the host of Heaven are engaged in the
work for the salvation of sinners.
While Christ was on earth, He showed by
His miracles that He had power to save unto the uttermost. By curing the
diseases of the body, He showed that He was able to take away sin from
He caused the lame to walk, the deaf to
hear, and the
blind to see. He cleansed the poor lepers, and healed the
man with palsy, and those who had all kinds of diseases.
By His word, even the devils were driven
out from the ones whom they had been possessing. Those who saw this
wonderful work were astonished, and said: "What a word is this! For with
authority and power He commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come
out!" Luke 4:36.
At the command of Jesus, Peter was able
to walk on the water. But he had to keep his eyes on the Saviour. As
soon as he looked away, he began to doubt and sink.
Then he cried, "Lord, save me," and the
Saviour's hand was stretched forth to lift him up. Matthew 14:28-31. So
whenever one cries to Him for help, the hand of Christ is stretched
forth to save.
The Saviour raised the dead to life. One
of these was the widow's son at Nain. The people were carrying him to
the grave, when they met Jesus. He took the young man by the hand,
lifted him up, and gave him alive to his mother. Then the company went
back to their homes with shouts of rejoicing and praise to God.
So also the daughter of Jairus was
raised, and by Christ's word, Lazarus, who had been dead four days, was
called forth from the tomb.
So when Christ shall come to earth again,
His voice will pierce the tombs, and "the dead in Christ shall rise" to
glorious, immortal life; and so shall they "ever be with the Lord." 1
It was a wonderful work done by our Lord
during His ministry on earth. Of this work He spoke in the answer He
sent to John the Baptist. John was in prison, and had become despondent;
he was even troubled by doubts as to
whether Jesus was really the
Messiah. So he sent some of his followers to ask the Saviour:
"Art Thou He that should come, or do we
look for another?"
When the messengers came to Jesus, there
were about Him many sick, whom He was healing. All day the messengers
waited, while He worked with tireless activity to help the suffering
ones. At last He said:
"Go and show John again those things
which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame
walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised
up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." Matthew 11:3-5.
So, for three years and a half, Jesus
"went about doing good." Then the time came for His ministry on earth to
be finished. With His disciples He must go up to Jerusalem to be
betrayed, condemned, and crucified.
Thus were to be fulfilled His own words,
"The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep." John 10:11.
"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and
carried our sorrows. . . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was
bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him;
and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him
the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:4-6.