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The Good Shepherd

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THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Jesus twice identified Himself as “the good shepherd” (John 10:11,14). In doing so, He used the Greek word kalos, which carried with it certain moral overtones. In classical Greek, this word was used to describe that which was beautiful, useful, auspicious, noble, wholesome, competent, and morally good. It would be correct to use any or all of these adjectives to describe the Good Shepherd. This word emphasizes the essential goodness of the Shepherd which, because it is evident to the observer, results in the Shepherd's being admired, respected, and loved by others. Many commentators believe this title is a reference to Jehovah Rohi of the Twenty-Third Psalm. The primary emphasis of the title, however, is the Shepherd's giving His life for His sheep and, therefore, is probably better understood within the context of Psalm 22, the first of the trilogy of Shepherd Psalms (Psalms 22-24). The title “Shepherd” was a church name of Jesus, for Scripture occasionally identifies the church as the flock of God (I Peter 5:2).

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