“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Good Shepard Sunday seems to be a classic of Christianity. There is no Christian, practicing or otherwise, that is not familiar with Jesus the Christ as the Good Shepard .The overall feeling of Christ as shepherd is very familiar. Christ is the one that cares, protects , and guides His Sheep. In fact Christ as a leader was not the first to associate leadership with a shepherd, this comparison was well known through out the ancient mid east. This ancient description is an accurate one, but if one is to expend just a small amount of thought; where is it that Christ differs from this classic description of a shepherd? Think for a moment about that sheep gate that Jesus describes. He says “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.” What is that sheep gate? for one it is the gate to a pen that protects the sheep, for another it is that sheep’s gate of Jerusalem where the sheep enters for ritual sacrifice. Which is Christ, He is both. Christ is both that shepherd that walks among the sheep and is a member of that fold; fully God and fully man, and that is so much different from other “shepherds of men.” Christ is that shepherd that walks among us and in our midst. He is not a shepherd that lords over us, but one that is in the very midst of us. Christ’s walking among us is certainly visible during his ministry, but how much more is He visible post Easter? He is visible in Peters proclamations, and he is visible throughout the Acts of the Apostles that documents so much of early Christianity. Certainly Christ is that true shepherd complete with all the properties of those ancient livestock herders . While those herders set an example for so many honorable leaders, one must miss that Christ is that shepherd that so incredibly closely walks with and amongst us. He is a shepherd that is both the sacrificial lamb and the shepherd of the sheep. He is the shepherd that is always among us. How many of our earthly leaders are with us always? I can think of only one.