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.]
|Hebrews 13:8 |
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.