Picture of Pastors Jim and Marie Watt
Pastors Jim and Marie Watt

Two Are Better Than One

SHEPHERD- poiMEN, 18x, Strong's #4166

PoiMEN, “a shepherd, one who tends herds or flocks” (not one who merely feeds them), is used metaphorically of Christian “pastors,” EPH 4:11. “Pastors” guide as well as feed the flock, cf. Acts 20:28, which with 20:17, indicates that this was the service committed to elders (overseers or bishops); so also in 1 PET 5:1, 2, “tend the flock ... exercising the oversight”; this involves tender care and vigilant superintendence. - Strong's Concordance p. 206.

1. MAT 26:31 (31-35, Panin's NNT) JESUS AS SHEPHERDSMITTEN: SHEEP WILL FLEE. “Then said :Jesus to them, All you shall stumble in me this :night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” David is a strong and clear type of Jesus, along with Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Daniel and many others. In the Psalms he prophesied much of the coming of his greaterson. As a shepherd, David anticipated the anguish when the 11 disciples and others saw their Shepherdsmitten.

2. Mark 6:34 (30-44) JESUS: SEES SHEEP AS WITHOUT A SHEPHERD. “And he came forth andsaw a great crowd, and had compassion on them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” See the compassion of Jesus to the shepherd less sheep of Israel in His day. This is the way all true shepherdsof local churches should feel towards their flock.

3. John 10:2, 11, 11, 12, 14, 16 (1-18) JESUS' SHEEP: KNOW HIS VOICE AS THEIR SHEPHERD. “But who enters by the door is shepherdof the sheep. 11 “I am the good :shepherd;

the good :shepherdlays down his :life for the sheep. 12 Who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees (and the wolf snatches them, and scatters.) 14 I am the good :shepherd; and I know :mine, and :mine know me. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this :fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my :voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.” By the Holy Spirit within us, all we as true sheep recognize the voice of Jesus our Shepherd. We will not follow false shepherds. Today especially each one of us need that clear inner witness of the Spirit.

4. 1 Peter 2:25 (18-25) JESUS: BOTH OUR SHEPHERDAND OVERSEER. “For you were wandering like sheep; but are now returned unto the Shepherdand overseer of your :souls.” Here Peter clearly sets forth the dual role of a shepherd. He is one who feeds, it is true - but he also shepherdsand oversees. Wise and good parents are the same for their family.

5. 1 Peter 5:4 (1-5) RETURN OF JESUS AS CHIEF SHEPHERD: SIGNAL FOR OUR CROWNING. “And when the chief Shepherdshall be manifested, you shall receive the unfading crown of :glory.” The Blessed Hope is the Soon Return of our Lord Jesus! One of the many purposes of His return - is to reward His saints! It is not just for the purpose of judgment, which is through Him as God's appointed Judge. Felix trembled when Paul (Acts 24:25) reasoned with him of righteousness and self-control and judgment:to come!

6. EPH 4:11 (1-16) JESUS: GIVES SHEPHERDSAS ONE OF FIVE SIGNIFICANT GIFTS. “And HE gave some as apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherdsand teachers.” We have little problem accepting our Lord's gift of pastor/shepherdsfor this entire church age. In the same context He gives us apostles and prophets. Why do so many tend to excise these top two from this package gift, while yet retaining the bottom three?

7. HEB 13:20-21 JESUS: THE GREAT SHEPHERDOF THE SHEEP - RAISED FROM THE DEAD. “Now the God of :peace, who brought again fromthedead the great :shepherdof the sheep in blood of an eternal covenant, our :Lord Jesus, 21perfect you in every good to do his :will, to do in us what is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom the glory unto the ages of the ages. Amen.” What a Benediction from the apostle Paul! It is through the blood of the eternal covenant, that our :Lord Jesus has become the shepherdof us sheep. And - it all follows His Resurrection from the dead, thus sealing the full efficacy of His Atonement - His Finished Work on Calvary!

NOTE: In the King James Authorized Version, the word poiMEN is only translated “pastor” once - in Ephesians 4:11: all other 18 references it is shepherd. Note Dr. Young's definition for this word in his Concordance. It is notjust a feedingfunction, but also for guidance, watch care, protection, oversight - yes - and even discipline. Remember the story of the wandering lamb from the rest of the flock, that refused correction. Finally in an act of supreme love, the shepherdbroke its leg. Then he put it in a splint and carried the lamb until healing took place. By then the lamb was so close to the shepherd, that it never wandered again. This is the sort of “tough love” that a true shepherdor parent must on occasion mete out to a human sheep by an all-wise, loving, but sometimes stern shepherd.

Pastor” just doesn't quite put across this many-faceted meaning of a a true shepherd. And the fact that Jesus as our chief Shepherdhas so wisely, lovingly but firmly looked after us - supplies great color, meaning and feeling into this wonderful word.

Now - let us look again at the above selected references to this great office, position and function of the fourth member of our Lord's 5-fold gift to His church. See also that shepherdand “elder” are intricately connected. It is true that all 5 of the “5-fold” are special elders - but the shepherdperhaps deserves this association above all others. Jim Watt