Bible Study Outlines

Volume 2, Lesson 16
by C.I. Scofield

The Shepherd Work of Christ

Christ is revealed as the Shepherd of the sheep in a three-fold way: He is called the "Good Shepherd," the "Great Shepherd," and the "Chief Shepherd."

  1. As the Good Shepherd, He:
    1. Gives His life "for" the sheep
    2. Gives His life "to" the sheep
      • John 10:10 - "That they might have life... abundantly"
      • John 12:24 - "If it die, it bringeth forth much fruit"
      • 1John 5:11 - "Hath given... life is in His Son" (see verses 12,13)
      • John 5:24 - "Hath everlasting life... is passed from death unto life"
  2. As the Great Shepherd, He:
    1. Has risen from the dead
      • Hebrews 13:20 - "Brought again from the dead... great Shepherd of the sheep"
    2. Cares for the sheep
      • John 10:3 - "Calleth His own sheep by name"
      • John 10:4 - "Putteth forth His own sheep... goeth before them"
      • John 10:27 - "My sheep... know... follow"
    3. Keeps His sheep
    4. Appoints under-shepherds
      Only the Great Shepherd has authority to commission under-shepherds. The necessary qualification is love for Him.
      • John 21:15 - "Lovest thou Me more than these?... Feed My lambs"
      • John 21:16 - "Lovest thou Me?... Feed [tend] My sheep"
      • John 21:17 - "Lovest thou Me?... Feed My sheep"
  3. The Chief Shepherd is coming to reward those who love Him and have cared for His sheep
    1. The under-shepherds must:
      • 1Peter 5:2 - "Feed the flock of God"
      • 1Peter 5:2 - "Taking the oversight... not for filthy lucre [monetary gain]"
      • 1Peter 5:3 - "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being [examples] to the flock"
      • 1Thessalonians 2:4-12 - "How holily and justly... we behaved"
    2. Rewards promised to under-shepherds
      • 1Peter 5:4 - "When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown"
      • Revelation 22:12 - "My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be"
      • 1Thessalonians 2:19,20 - "What is our... crown of rejoicing?... Ye are our glory and joy"
    The three-fold shepherd work of the Lord is wonderfully illustrated by Psalms 22-24. In Psalm 22, the Good Shepherd is giving His life for the sheep; in Psalm 23 the Great Shepherd is caring for His sheep; in Psalm 24 the Chief Shepherd, the King of glory, comes to reward His sheep.
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