Definition Essay: the Good Shepherd

1282 Words Apr 27th, 2013 6 Pages
The Biblical Definition of the Good Shepherd:
Definition Essay

The Biblical Definition of the Good Shepherd Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11, NIV). A Shepherd is a person who tends and guards flocks of sheep. In Bible, Jesus was not a real shepherd; however, he described himself as the Good Shepherd. Christians may question why the Good Shepherd is distinctive from general shepherd. From biblical perspective, the Good shepherd is an emotional image that teaches Christians to follow Jesus. Through contrasting the Good and bad shepherds, investigating the functions the Good shepherd, and looking at biblical examples of the image of the Good shepherd, God’s intention of teaching Christians is more asserted.
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Through contrasting the bad shepherds and the Good Shepherds, Jesus, the Bible clearly teaches Christians to follow the Good Shepherd, Jesus.
The image of the Good Shepherd functions as a motif throughout the Bible to teach Christians that they have to follow Jesus. The motif is the fact that God acts as the Shepherd of His people. The image of God as a shepherd does not appear once in the Bible but rather several times. Therefore, it allows Christians to hold on to this clear emotional image. From the beginning of the Bible, God has been portrayed as a shepherd by His people. In Genesis 48:15, Jacob declared that God has been his “shepherd all of his life to this day”. In New Testament, Jesus described Himself the Good Shepherd “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11, NIV). As Jesus clearly depicted Himself as a shepherd, there is no doubt in Christians mind that He is not the Good Shepherd. Furthermore, in Book of Revelation, the author, John the apostle, brings a prominent image of God; “for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eye” (Revelation 7:15) (, n.d.). Like this, the image of God as shepherd is frequently addressed in the Bible. Why did God address Himself as shepherd? First of all, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, shepherding was a very common occupation for Ancient Near East people

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