Your ministry is to the sheep Jesus leads. Jesus often endearingly pictured us as His sheep. Our primary ministry is to His sheep.
The sheep Jesus leads, he calls by name and we know his voice and follow him.
Jesus leads with his life. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” “The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” “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. The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn’t care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I’m known by my own…”
1 “Most certainly, I tell you, 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
…22 It was the Feast of Hanukkah at Jerusalem. 23 It was winter, and Yeshua was walking in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 The Judeans therefore came around him and said to him, “How long will you hold us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Yeshua answered them, “I told you, and you don’t believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name, these testify about me. 26 But you don’t believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I told you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father who has given them to me is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” John 10:22-29
“there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.”
” 1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming close to him to hear him. 2 The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”
3 He told them this parable. 4 “Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? 5 When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance. 8 Or what woman, if she had ten drachma* coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn’t light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.’ 10 Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.” Luke 15:1-10
Jesus told Peter : “Feed my lambs; …tend my sheep.”
“13 Then Yeshua came and took the bread, gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Yeshua was revealed to his disciples after he had risen from the dead. 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 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 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 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 21:13-18
Peter pictured us as the flock of God when he exhorted the elders.
Here, Peter starts his exhortation with the elders and then exhorts the younger ones.
1 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.
5 Likewise, you younger ones, be subject to the elder. Yes, all of you clothe yourselves with humility, to subject yourselves to one another; for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”✡ 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you.
8 Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Withstand him steadfast in your faith, knowing that your brothers who are in the world are undergoing the same sufferings. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory by Messiah Yeshua, after you have suffered a little while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother, as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you. So does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace be to all of you who are in Messiah Yeshua. Amen. 1 Peter 5:1-14
Elders (1 Peter 5:1-14) are the ones Messiah gave to care for the flock (Ac 20:17; Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:7) and equip the saints for the work of ministry (John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 2:1-10; 1 Peter 5:2).
All scripture quoted is from the WMB.