20 Things Jesus Does As The Great Shepherd


In his Commentary on the Whole Epistle to the Hebrews, William Gouge set out 20 things Scripture teaches us that Jesus does as the great Shepherd of His sheep:

1. A true shepherd enters in by the door, John x. 2—that is, he is lawfully called and appointed by God; so was our Lord Jesus, Heb. 5:5. ‘The porter opens to the shepherd, John 10:3 ; so the ministers of the church acknowledge Christ to be sent of God, and answerably entertain him, John 6:69, 1 Pet. 2:25.

3. A shepherd calls his sheep by name, John 10:3; so ‘the Lord knows them that are his,’ 2 Tim. 2:19.

4. A shepherd knows his own sheep, John 10: 3. Thus Christ judges between cattle and cattle, Ezek. 34:17.

5. A shepherd leads out his sheep, John 10:8; so Jesus is a guide to his sheep. He is ‘ the way, the truth, and the life,’ John 14:6; that true way wherein his sheep may attain unto life.

6. A shepherd orders the affairs of his sheep in season; he ‘puts them forth,’ John 10:4, namely, when it is time for them to go out of the fold. Christ does things when it is time, John 7:6.

7. A shepherd goes before his sheep, John 10:4. In this respect Christ is styled our captain, Heb. 2:10.

8. A shepherd provides for his sheep, 1 Chron. 4:40; so doth Christ, John 10:9, Ps. 23: 2.

9. A shepherd procures safety for his sheep. This is implied under this phrase, which Christ applieth to himself, ‘he shall be saved, and shall go in and out.’

10. A shepherd hazards his life for his sheep, 1 Sam. 17:35; so doth Christ, John 10:17.

11. A shepherd so acquaints himself with his sheep, as they know his voice, John 10:4; so the church knows the voice of Christ, John 10:14.

12. A shepherd so governs his sheep, as they follow him, John 10:4; so doth Christ govern his church, 1 Cor. 11:1.

13. A shepherd marks his sheep, so as he may know them from others. Thus Christ by his Spirit ‘seals’ his, Eph. 4:30.

14. A shepherd watches over his sheep, Gen. 31:40, Luke 2:8. Thus doth Christ, John 17:6.

15. A shepherd tenderly heals his sheep. Thus doth Christ, Ezek. 34:16, Mat. 8:16.

16. A shepherd keeps his sheep together, that they do not stray, Gen. 30:29. For this end Christ hath his assemblies and ordinances.

17. A shepherd seeks out the sheep that stray; so doth Christ, Mat. 18:11, 12.

18. A shepherd will carry such sheep as are feeble and cannot go; so Christ, Luke 15:5.

19. A shepherd will be accountable for his sheep, Gen. 31: 39; so also is Christ, John 17:12.

20. A shepherd will keep the infected from the clean; so Christ, 1 Cor. 10:4, &c.


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for this. In meditating upon it I formed my Christmas sermon, “From shepherds to Shepherd.” Those who first heard the Christmas story were the pattern of the One it was about! I will reference your post in the message as seminal in forming my thoughts.

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