11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. [To be one of His sheep, you must belong to Him, be free from all sin, and be in union with Him. From the Word of the Lord within: "If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me. Listen to and obey my voice; listen to my sweet words of wisdom. If you pay attention and obey, it results in union with God. He joins with our cleansed nature. We must become like Him to merge with Him."]
12 The hireling [working for a salary] does not own the sheep like the [good] shepherd; so when he sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and flees. Then the wolf seizes the sheep and scatters them. [The hireling is a preacher taking a salary, soliciting contributions, or soliciting love gifts; he works for money, and he is not leading the sheep because of his love for them. So, when any danger threatens, he abandons the congregation. In contrast, because a good shepherd loves the sheep, he will risk his life to save the sheep. A true preacher is authorized by the Lord, has been perfected by the Master, and the Lord dwells in him, guiding his every action and his every word.]
13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling [working for pay], and does not love the sheep.2 [Jesus spoke against preachers who work for money, as did Peter, as did Paul, as did Jude, as does the Old Testament.]
14 I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, as I am known by my sheep; [Many profess to know Jesus and be known by Him; but by the next verse, His sheep and He know each other like the Father and Jesus know each other.]
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me [they obey].4 [These are very advanced believers whom Jesus has raised to heaven and whom He dwells within as they still walk the earth too. He guides them with His voice for all their words to speak and all their deeds to be done, bringing honor and glory to God.]
|Ezekiel 34:2-4,10-15 |
2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherd: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?
3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourself with the wool, you kill the sheep that are fat, but you do not feed the sheep.1
4 You have not strengthened the diseased, you have not healed the sick or bound up that which was broken, you have not brought back that which was driven away or sought that which was lost; instead you have ruled them with force and with cruelty.
10 Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more. For I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, so that they may no longer be food for them.2
11 For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold I, even I, will both search for my sheep and seek them out.
12 As a shepherd seeks out his sheep in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so I will seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered on the cloudy and dark day.
13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and will bring them to their own land; and I will feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and their fold shall be upon the high mountains of Israel; there they shall lie down in a good land, and they shall feed in a fat pasture upon the mountains of Israel.
15 I will feed my sheep and I will cause them to lie down3, says the Lord GOD.