This week, we are exploring the role of shepherd in the New Testament church. In Acts 20:28-38 we hear Paul say that God has called certain men to shepherd His people, people He purchased with His own blood (v.28). Paul warns such leaders to pay attention to themselves as they watch out for His people. And why is that? Well, we can lead the flock no further than we’ve been with Jesus, the Great Shepherd.
One of the reasons we’re given for why the shepherd must guard the sheep is because dangerous wolves threaten them and they can come from within the church (V.30). These are people who have their own agenda; they lead people away from Jesus. Paul’s instruction to the Ephesian elders is that as leaders within the church they should guard the flock, pay attention to themselves, be generous, and look out for the weak. That’s the job of a shepherd. You may be asking, “Why does this matter?” Here’s the short answer: God thinks enough of His church that He seeks to complete His people (Ephesians 4:11-14) so that they live steady lives free of constant chaos. This means that God has a purpose for each member of the church: a purpose that pastors/teachers equip them to achieve.
Ultimately, the true shepherd is Jesus. The shepherds’ job is to help point you to Him. Bethany church elders are here to help each member fully realize God’s grace and grow in the knowledge of Jesus. There’s one more thing: God is preparing His church for future things, eternal things, unseen things. So, God is looking out for you: past, present, and future.
To Him be all glory.