Friday, 12 December 2014

ARE YOU A GOOD SHEPHERD OR A HIRED HAND? (1)

TEXT: JOHN 10:11-13
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the Sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the Sheep. So when he sees the Wolf coming, he abandons the Sheep and runs away. Then the Wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the Sheep.”
A shepherd is a person who takes care of Sheep, he takes Sheep to eat, drink, keep them away from danger and guide them lest they go astray. In summary, a shepherd protects guides and nurtures his flock.
Jesus Christ called his followers sheep and he refer to himself as the good shepherd. As believers are sheep in God’s vineyard; they need shepherds to protect, guide and nurture in the way of the Lord. The shepherds are the pastors that God has given the mandate to protect, guide and nurture His people. Jesus was able to say confidently that “I am a good shepherd” unfortunately, most of the pastors that are supposed to be shepherds to their flock are nothing but hired hands! They care nothing for the Sheep, they leave their Sheep to danger, and they abandon their Sheep in time of trouble and need. They abandon their Sheep because they are not genuinely interested in them, but the benefits they would enjoy as pastors.
Jesus outlined the difference between a good shepherd and the hired hand in our text: A good shepherd lays his life for the Sheep; this is because he is the real owner of the flock, and therefore whatever affects the Sheep will affect the shepherd. On the other hand a hired hand is being hired to watch over the Sheep, and he gets paid at the end of the day for tending the Sheep.
The hired hands nurtures the Sheep not because he loves them or because he does not want evil to happen to them, he nurtures them because of the benefit accrued to watching over them which is the wages he would be paid at the end of the day. Hired hand’s interest is not on the safety and well-being of the Sheep but his wages. You cannot lay your life for somebody you do not love that is why a hired hand would run away when there is danger in the midst of the flock.

Many of the so called shepherds or pastors have no genuine interest in their congregation, but so far you are still useful to them in one way or the other, they would relate with you. As soon as your services or act of kindness to them and their ministry ceases; you will be left and abandoned! This is not Christ like, because it is not written anywhere that Jesus used and dumped anybody. This type of trait CANNOT be seen in a good shepherd but in a hired hand.

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