25 Names of Christ: The Good Shepherd

Jesus was of course, a master teacher and as such understood that to establish an understanding in his audience, He would need to teach eternal principles according to their frame of reference. In the parable of the Good Shepherd, Christ teaches profound truths all through what would have been very familiar imagery to his audience; that of shepherds and sheep.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland teaches “A shepherd knows his sheep, and they know him. He provides good pasture for them and protects them against predators. He knows their names and, if one is missing, he immediately seeks that stray or endangered animal. He leads that wanderer back to safety and, if necessary, he carries the lame or wounded one on his shoulders until it can be healed and healthy again.”

In John 10:4-5, we read “the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”

Knowing the voice of Christ, for us, may mean to have studied His words and His life and have His Spirit as a companion, so that we can recognize His voice when we hear it.

In verses 10 and 11, Jesus describes His earthy mission, speaks of His love for each of us, affirms his role as Savior and points to His atoning sacrifice: “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

The principles being taught and the imagery conveyed are beautiful and as such, it is little wonder that one of the best known passages of any scripture comes from Psalm 23:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

Sources:

Jeffrey R. Holland, Witness for His Names, Deseret Book 2019

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