Call +91 89714 64120 |  Email

Next event in:

  • 00 DAYS
  • 00 HR
  • 00 MIN
  • 00 SEC

John 21:15-27

John 21:15-27


Sermon: The Good Shepherd and His Shepherds
Bible Passage: John 21:15-27

Three characters: Jesus, Peter, and Jesus’ sheep/flock

I. In the OT, the people of Israel are frequently called “sheep”

1. Psalm 100:3 Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture
2. Zech 9:16 On that day the LORD their God will deliver them as the flock of his people, for they are the precious stones of a crown sparkling over his land
3. Isa 53:6 All of us had wandered off like sheep; each of us had strayed off on his own path, but the LORD caused the sin of all of us to attack him

II. The LORD uses “Shepherd” metaphor to explain His relationship with His people

1. Gen 48:15 Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers, Abraham and Isaac walked—the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day
2. Gen 49:24 his [Joseph’s] bow will remain steady, and his hands will be skillful; because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel
3. Psalm 78:52 He [the LORD] brought out his people like sheep; He [the LORD] led them through the wilderness like a flock
4. Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd
5. Ezek 34:11-12 “‘For this is what the sovereign LORD says: Look, I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day
6. Isa 40:11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock; he gathers up the lambs with his arm; he carries them close to his heart; he leads the ewes along
7. In these verses, the Shepherd metaphor conveys the LORD’s care, provision, protection, compassion, and leadership

III. Human leaders are made shepherds as the LORD’s proxies

1. Num 27:17 who will go out before them, and who will come in before them, and who will lead them out, and who will bring them in, so that the community of the LORD may not be like sheep that have no shepherd
2. 2 Sam 5:2 In the past, when Saul was our king, you were the real leader in Israel. The LORD said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel; you will rule over Israel’”
3. Isa 44:28 who commissions Cyrus, the one I appointed as shepherd to carry out all my wishes and to decree concerning Jerusalem, ‘She will be rebuilt,’ and concerning the temple, ‘It will be reconstructed
4. Ezek 34:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 34:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel
5. Human leaders work on behalf of the LORD

IV. The human shepherds disappointed God by becoming greedy, neglectful, and self-serving (Ezek 34),

1. Self-focused and fail to feed the God’s sheep (Ezek 34:2-3)
2. Neglect the welfare of the sheep for which they are appointed (Ezek 34:4)
3. Exposed to vulnerability (Ezek 34:5)
4. God was frustrated with human leaders

V. When human shepherd-kings failed, divine Shepherd became a messianic expectation (Ezek 34:11-16; cf. Jer 23:3; 31:10)

1. 34:11 “‘For this is what the sovereign LORD says: Look, I myself will search for my sheep and seek them out.
2. 34:12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day.
3. 34:13 I will bring them out from among the peoples and gather them from foreign countries; I will bring them to their own land. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams and all the inhabited places of the land.
4. 34:14 In a good pasture I will feed them; the mountain heights of Israel will be their pasture. There they will lie down in a lush pasture, and they will feed on rich grass on the mountains of Israel.
5. 34:15 I myself will feed my sheep and I myself will make them lie down, declares the sovereign LORD.
6. 34:16 I will seek the lost and bring back the strays; I will bandage the injured and strengthen the sick, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them—with judgment!

VI. Jesus is the messianic Shepherd prophesied in Ezek 34:11-16

1. Jesus announced, “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11)
2. He demonstrates what true “shepherding” involves

a. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep (verse 11)
b. Jesus knows every single sheep intimately (v.14) and His sheep know Him (verse16)
c. Jesus provides ultimate security (verse18), and is deeply committed to His sheep
d. Jesus went after the weak, helpless, and ignored (Luke 19:10 vs. Isa 40:11 and Ezek 34:16)
e. Jesus went after the lost (Matt 15:24 cf. Matt 10:6)
f. Jesus provides ultimate “pastoral care”

VII. Jesus calls His believers “my lamb” and “my sheep”—precious possession (John 21:15-17)

Jesus’ believers need care, growth, and be held together 
So, Jesus delegated (appointed?) His care to the leaders of the church—it involves (two verbs)

1. Feeding with spiritual nourishment

a. Feeding stimulates growth
b. Feeding leads to maturity

2. Tending—to watch out, to keep them together (ποιμαίνω)

a. Guiding
b. Administering

VIII. God has put so much for expectation on pastoral office (theology of pastoral leadership)

1. God loves His people and desires them to grow in their relationship with Him
2. God wants His people stay together so that they are not exposed to vulnerability
3. Spiritual nurture through preaching, teaching, and caring are integral part of God’s care of His people
4. The leaders are called upon to be proxies for Jesus—to be “under shepherds” for the Good Shepherd
5. Jesus prefers shepherd leadership which is “sheep focused” rather than shepherd focused
6. Only by “tending” and “caring” for Jesus’ sheep, leaders demonstrate their love Jesus
7. One’s faithfulness to Jesus is not measured just in his/her ability to speak or grow the flock in number, but in their commitment to care for the sheep
8. Positions of leadership at a local church is not positions of status, but they position of service

Take Away:

1. Commit to be part of a congregation where “shepherd leadership” is practiced
2. (Leaders) Look constantly to Jesus to carryout “flock focused” leadership

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at