Articles by - Mike Muzzerall

When Sheep Have No Shepherds

October 2022

Nothing is more vulnerable than a solitary lamb wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. Unlike most animals, a lamb does not have the means to properly defend itself. As a truly domesticated animal, it relies totally upon its shepherd. It trusts that the shepherd will vanquish the enemy, but what happens when sheep have no shepherd?

The Pastor Is A Shepherd
The Greek word for a pastor is poimēn, which Thayer’s defines as “a herdsman, especially a shepherd; metaphorically—the presiding officer, manager, or director, of any assembly.”

Pastors are shepherds to their congregations, but here is where the analogy breaks down: Whereas sheep are completely reliant on shepherds, a child of God is not totally reliant on the local pastor for his or her spiritual well-being. Each and every member of the congregation has access to Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd.

The Role Of The Shepherd
The shepherd’s assignment is simply to take care of the sheep. We see the perfect shepherd portrayed in the Psalm 23. The writer sees himself as a vulnerable lamb and acknowledges the Lord as his shepherd. So completely competent and proficient is the shepherd that the writer says, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Ps. 23:1). There is no lack. All of his needs were met in and through his shepherd. He is at rest.

Role Of The Pastor
The pastor is to concern himself with the spiritual well-being of the congregation: feeding the flock the Word of God, warning them of false doctrine that is infiltrating the church, and ministering to the overall welfare of the members. Added to these responsibilities is the call of God to reach out to the lost and hurting.

What About Sheep Without A Shepherd?
There are “lone sheep.” These solitary sheep do not have a shepherd, or their shepherd is not fulfilling the God-given duties of a shepherd. In most of these cases, the lack is seen most keenly in the area of preaching. These negligent pastors are not preaching the Word of God under the direction and anointing of the Holy Spirit, or they refuse to preach the full council of God. You could be in a congregation that has a pastor but feel that you do not have a true shepherd. In reality, you do have a shepherd.

A Shepherd To The Solitary
Just as God is the father to the fatherless and the husband to the widow, He is the shepherd to the solitary. He will shepherd the lamb who has no shepherd. He will lead the lamb whose shepherd is not Spirit-led. Through Calvary, we have all that we need. The cross grants us immediate access to the throne of God. We can, through the blood, approach our heavenly Father and make our requests known in the name of Jesus Christ our Shepherd. We can humbly petition Him to intervene in the affairs of our lives. We can petition His protection based solely on the victory that Christ won for us upon the cross.

Moved With Compassion
Matthew tells us that Jesus “was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36). He is touched by what His sheep are going through. He endured the cross for you and me. Won’t you come into His fold? Won’t you allow Jesus Christ to be your Great Shepherd? Won’t you rest in the completed work of Calvary? You do not have to be without a shepherd.


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