He is the Good Shepherd, our Good Shepherd
For "you were like sheep going astray," but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls (1 Peter 2:25).
Sheep need a shepherd.
Sheep without a shepherd constantly go astray. It’s part of the nature of sheep. Think about what your life was like before you knew Jesus. Constantly going astray, that was me. Regardless of how smart I thought I was, or how much I believed I was in control, I had a hard time staying on the right path. I needed a shepherd.
This was a hard truth to swallow. It is hard for anyone to swallow. It goes against the grain of our independent and rebellious flesh. But it is true none the less. Without a shepherd, life is painfully difficult.
Matthew recorded a story that amplifies this point. As Jesus went through the towns and villages teaching and healing, a crowd began to follow him. Matthew wrote that when He saw them, “He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
Harassed and helpless; that is our condition apart from Christ. And that is where we end up when we as believers do not listen to the voice of Jesus; when we lean on our own understanding to figure out life.
I’ve been there and so have you. Even today as someone who knows Christ, my pride and ego can convince me that I have life under control. Pride and ego are not very good shepherds. In fact, I think the Bible would call them wolves. They never lead us down the right paths or restore our souls, or protect us. They lead us into chaos and rob us of our peace and security.
But not Jesus. He is the good shepherd, your good shepherd. He laid down His life for you. He secured you as His own. John emphasized this in His gospel account. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” He guides you down the paths of righteousness, He protects you from the deceitfulness of the world and He restores your soul.
Let me encourage you today to look to Jesus, the Shepherd and overseer of your soul.
As you grow in your knowledge of Christ, you will learn to lean more and more on Him as your great Shepherd. Your spiritual ears will become more sensitive and responsive to the sound of His voice. This is just one aspect of the change that takes place inside of you once you are made alive in Christ. You hear His voice and you follow.