All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB
Those who equip the saints for the work of ministry have their work cut out.
But, Jesus assures them and us.
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Yeshua answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 I also tell you that you are Peter,* and on this rock † I will build my assembly/ekklēsian [church/community], and the gates of Sheol‡ will not prevail against it. Mt 16:16-18 Context. Mt 16
After God resurrected Jesus from the dead, He proclaimed the kingdom for 40 days before ascending into heaven (Acts 1:1-3).
The third time Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, they were fishing but hadn’t caught any. Jesus told the to cast their net on the other side. They did and caught so many their net threatened to break. They took of the fish and ate (Jn 21:1-14).
- 15 So when they had eaten their breakfast, Yeshua said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?”
- He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.”
- He said to him, “Feed/Boske my lambs.”
- 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?”
- He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.”
- He said to him, “Tend/probata/Shepherd my sheep.”
- 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you have affection for me?”
- Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, “Do you have affection for me?” He said to him, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I have affection for you.”
- Yeshua said to him, “Feed/Boske my sheep.
- 18 Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you don’t want to go.” John 21:15-18
“Feed/Boske my lambs.”
Lambs are the little ones in the kingdom of God, especially the children. Lambs nurse from their mothers for several months, until they are weaned. What they need from their Shepherd is the same tender love and care our Good Shepherd gives to us while we are young and immature.
1 In that hour the disciples came to Yeshua, saying, “Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”
2 Yeshua called a little child to himself, and set him in the middle of them, 3 and said, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 5 Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if a huge millstone were hung around his neck, and that he were sunk in the depths of the sea. Matt. 18:2-6
“Tend/probata/Shepherd my sheep.”
Jesus was calling His disciples to follow His example of of what it meant to serve.
Earlier, Jesus explained what it meant to be the Good Shepherd to the Pharisees and His disciples.
1 “Most certainly, I tell you [Pharisees], one who doesn’t enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. 4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don’t know the voice of strangers.” 6 Yeshua spoke this parable to them, but they didn’t understand what he was telling them.
7 Yeshua therefore said to them again, “Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep’s door. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture. 10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd.✡ The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn’t own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them. 13 The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn’t care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I’m known by my own; 15 even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold.✡ I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, ✡ that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father.” John 10:1-18
Peter must have been thinking on that kind of tending when he wrote this inspired word.
Therefore I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Messiah, and who will also share in the glory that will be revealed. 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, not for dishonest gain, but willingly; 3 not as lording it over those entrusted to you, but making yourselves examples to the flock. 4 When the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the crown of glory that doesn’t fade away. 1 Peter 1:1-4
The Son of Man came to serve.
42 Yeshua summoned them, and said to them, “You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all. 45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45
Paul explained why we sheep need excellent tending to Timothy and to us.
1 But know this: that in the last days, grievous times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also. 6 For some of these are people who creep into houses and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Even as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind, who concerning the faith are rejected. 9 But they will proceed no further. For their folly will be evident to all men, as theirs also came to be. 10 But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, 11 persecutions, and sufferings: those things that happened to me at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. I endured those persecutions. The Lord delivered me out of them all. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Messiah Yeshua will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Tim 3:1-13
“Feed/Boske my sheep.
Those who equip us saints for the work of ministry lovingly feed Jesus’ sheep from all Scripture. It is brought to life in our spirit by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit.
14 But you remain in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them. 15 From infancy, you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Messiah Yeshua. 16 Every Scripture is God-breathed and* profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, 17 that each person who belongs to God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:14-17
1 I command you therefore before God and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom: 2 proclaim the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all patience and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn away to fables. 5 But you be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim 4:1-5