The Names of God
“Poimen Kalos" is a name that God uses to describe Himself. This name reminds us both of our own vulnerability and Jesus’ watchful, protecting care. It evokes a sense of belonging, intimacy and trust. He really is our good shepherd.
John 10. 1-18
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to 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 comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
* Why do you think Jesus refers to us as sheep?
* In this passage, how many different predators were mentioned?
1. The Shepherd
Scripture uses various metaphors to describe the people of God… a temple, a body, a bride, garden, vineyard, flock of sheep. Shepherding was an important occupation in Biblical times.
The role of the shepherd was to provide three things to the flock:
* How does God “feed” His sheep today?
* How does He protect them?
* How does God guide His sheep today?
Without a good shepherd to watch over them, the sheep scatter becoming easy prey for wild animals and thieves.
2. The Good Shepherd at work
Out of Gods great love for people He promises to be the “Good Shepherd”.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
* Can you describe a time when God provided for you?
* How about a time when He protected you?
Knowing that we have a good shepherd, we should listen to and follow Him wherever He leads. He always leads us to the green pastures and away from areas of danger.