Characteristics of a Shepherd in the Bible with His sheep

What’s Inside: Be closer to God by reflecting on these different characteristics of a shepherd in the Bible with His sheep

Characteristics of a Shepherd in the Bible with His sheep

The relationship between a shepherd and sheep is one that is built of trust.

Sheep are known to be one of the most anxious animals, and the only thing that can calm them is their shepherd. Every shepherd has the responsibility to lead his flock to ensure their welfare and safety, making sure that they are well protected in all aspects.

As a relationship between a Shepherd and his sheep grows, the characteristics of the shepherd show that the sheep finds refuge in the shepherd. He takes care of the flock, and the sheep in the flock trust their shepherds with all of their hearts.

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By observing earthly shepherds and reading the gospel accounts of the characteristics of a Shepherd in the Bible with His sheep, we can understand the relationship between them.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and 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.
John 10:4-5

The Sheep hear the voice of their shepherd

Just as every sheep here on earth knows the voice of its shepherd, we as Christians hear the voice of our heavenly Shepherd, Jesus. Our Lord Jesus is inviting us to follow Him.

Characteristics of a Shepherd in the Bible 

Characteristic of Shepherd in the Bible
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Let’s practically dig into Scripture and observe five characteristics of a shepherd in the Bible:

  1. A shepherd is kind-hearted and compassionate

Mark 6:34 “And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.”

Whenever Jesus sees the lost, He sees a lost sheep without a shepherd. and is filled with great compassion towards them. One definition of compassion literally means to suffer together. When you are hurting, Jesus hurts as well.

Despite our sinful nature, Jesus Christ chose to accept us and redeem us through dying on the cross. He is so kindhearted that He allowed sinners to eat with Him despite severe persecution. Everywhere He went, He had the heart to help and be compassionate.

  1. A shepherd always assures protection 

John 10:28 “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”

Jesus Christ is our refuge and he offers protection against any outside influences that want to pull us out of the sheepfold.

Check out these other related Bible posts.

  1. A shepherd is a good leader that guides its flock

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

Jesus is the greatest leader of all time. He is our light and our guide, he saves the lost and redirects their paths, and he gives us the holy spirit and allows us to have discernment in our choices and in what we do. As humans who make mistakes, Jesus is our map. Without Him, it’s just darkness. 

  1. A shepherd is a watches for our safety

Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

Jesus acknowledged that some people are oblivious in the gospels. He is our gentle caretaker who allows us to learn from our mistakes. He doesn’t condemn, rather, He has given us grace that can transform us.

  1. A shepherd is loving

1 John 4:8 8 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 

Jesus had given us the greatest assurance that we are loved. Through Him, we get to experience the real meaning of unconditional love that we can also share with others. This love is our security that keeps us safe and sound.

Jesus Christ is the only one that is addressed as the good shepherd. The written qualities of the good shepherd in the bible show that an effective leader is someone who can lead us to God, and someone who submits to the authority of our God. A good shepherd is like a pleasing voice that sounds like our solitary solace.

Characteristics of Sheep in the Bible

Characteristic of Sheep in the Bible

Why does God compare us to sheep? Let’s look at the characteristics of sheep in the Bible so we better understand the reason for this comparison and its similarities. 

  1. Sheep are often lost

Matthew 18:12-13 “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.”

If there was ever an animal to get lost… it’s a sheep. They have no sense of direction. They go where their instincts are telling them and they are easily lost when the shepherd is not around.

What a lesson we can learn from! We need to rely on our Shepherd for direction!

  1. Sheep are defenseless

Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” 

Sheep do not have any forms of defense. They do not have claws, sharp teeth, or armor that they can use to protect themselves from other animals. A sheep is only protected with its flock and shepherd. 

  1. Sheep are valuable

Isaiah 43:4 “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.”

Sheep were treated just like gold back in the day. You are considered a rich man if you owned a flock because they provide so many things such as meat, milk, and wool for clothing or warmth.

We are also valuable in God’s eyes! God compares us to sheep in the Bible because He considers us as priceless. 

  1. Sheep are dependent

Psalms 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds”

When an animal gets injured, they can take care of themselves. They can lick their wounds until it gets healed, but not sheep. Sheep need a shepherd to tend to their wounds and need to be looked after until they are fully healed.

This characteristic shows a similarity with us. When we are broken-hearted, sick, or in pain, our shepherd tends to us and heals us until we are fully recovered. 

  1. Sheep are vulnerable 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Sheep are vulnerable when they are alone without a shepherd. When they are thirsty, they will stop at a dirty puddle right in front of them and drink rather than going to a fresh source of water.

Sheep lack discernment, and shamefully, do not know what is good for them.

Can you relate to this like I can? I need the discernment of the Lord in all things!

We can see the similarity of us and sheep in this characteristic.

The dirty puddle in front of us could represent our worldly desires and we would head straight for it because we think that is all there is in life.

We often think we are satiated when, in reality, we are poisoned with desires that do not please God. God wants to give us the best choice and lead us to the fresh river. 

Shepherds and Sheep in comparison to Jesus and His People

Shepherd and Sheep in comparison to Jesus and His people

Earthly shepherds and earthly sheep compare to the relationship of Jesus and His people. Here are some 8 reasons why Jesus is the good shepherd.

  1. Jesus as a shepherd is kind-hearted

Psalm 31:19 “Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

2. Jesus as a shepherd is compassionate

Mark 6:34 “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.”

3. Jesus as a shepherd protects His flock

Psalm 27:5 “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”

4. Jesus as a shepherd guides His flock

John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

5. Jesus as a shepherd is the best leader

John 3:15 Shepherd and Sheep in comparison to Jesus and His people”

6. Jesus as a shepherd watches His sheep’s safety

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

7. Jesus as a shepherd is loving

Isaiah 43:4 “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.”

8. Jesus as a shepherd is tenderhearted

Psalm 36:7 “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

As for the people of Jesus, we are similar to the sheep from the shepherd’s flock. Here is some scripture showing the similarities of our characteristics.

People as Sheep are lost

Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

People as sheep are defenseless

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”

People as sheep are valuable

Deuteronomy 7:6 “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”

People as sheep are dependent

Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

People as sheep are insufficient

Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

People as sheep are loyal

John 10:4-5 “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and 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.”

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Let’s create something beautiful together!

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