READ : John 10:1-15
“I am the good shepherd.” (v. 11)
Would the good shepherd pull the wool over your eyes? Certainly not. The good shepherd is the guardian of the sheep. The good shepherd, we are told, would sleep at the gate of the sheepfold, so no wolves could steal in, or sheep wander out, without him knowing. The good shepherd was the protector, the defender of the sheep. Even today, bishops carry a shepherd’s crook, because they are guardians of souls, defenders of Christ’s flock.
Whenever I hear about clergy sex scandals in the church, what infuriates me is not so much the sex, shocking though that is. The real scandal is the betrayal of trust. Shepherds are supposed to be protectors of the sheep, not predators. Or, turn on the television on Sunday morning and see all the shepherds who are fleecing their own flocks while promising health, wealth, and prosperity.
Listen to Ezekiel rage against self-serving shepherds: “Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. Thus says the Lord God, I am against the shepherds . . .” (34:2-3, 10).
The good shepherd is the guardian of the flock, not the fleecer of the flock.
Pray for shepherds of God’s flock.