Last week I wrote about Peter and the sheep and revealed from Peter's first letter that Peter clearly understood Jesus' words to "feed My sheep." The article addressed the Shepherd's rod and staff and how they are used to care for the sheep. It's clear in Peter's letter that he knew Jesus had restored him to ministry and commissioned him to be a shepherd of sheep. Peter's depth of understanding is revealed in his words when he addressed the elders in the church and commissioned them as shepherds with a job to do:
"The elders which are among you I exhort.... Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof..." (1 Peter 5:1-2)
"The flock of God" are referred to as the Lord's sheep in Psalm 100.
"Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture." (Psalm 100:3)
As Peter wrote his first letter, he must have recalled Jesus' words and teaching about sheep:
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (John 10:27-28)
Clearly Jesus revealed Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep and told that He would call His sheep and keep His sheep in His loving care.
The theme of a shepherd tending sheep runs throughout the Bible and the revelation of Jesus being the Shepherd of the flock of God is, perhaps, most beautifully revealed in three psalms — 22, 23 and 24. These psalms are often collectively referred to as the Shepherd Psalms and they point us to the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd.
The Good, Great and Chief Shepherd
The Good Shepherd Psalm
Psalm 22 tells of the Shepherd as a suffering servant. The parallel New Testament verses are found in John 10:1-18 and tell of the Good Shepherd who calls His sheep to Himself.