Commentary by Roger Oakland – www.understandthetimes.org
The Bible provides a model for leadership. The model is quite simple. Jesus Christ is the good shepherd. The good shepherd is in charge of the sheep. Christians are sheep who belong to the flock. Unlike what some religious groups teach, the sheep should have personal access to the good shepherd. There is one mediator between God and man. We don’t need a priest to intervene.
Of course, the body of Christ is rightfully divided into smaller flocks with shepherds who are called to teach and protect the sheep. This is where a problem can arise. What if a shepherd is in the position of a shepherd but has not been called to be a shepherd? What if his job is just a job and not a calling? What if the shepherd is actually a wolf? The Bible states this can definitely happen.
Now, there is another aspect to this. Because mankind has the tendency to do things man’s way rather than God’s way, even shepherds can be influenced. Shepherds who follow Jesus and walk according to the Scriptures are truly God’s shepherds. However, as you know, because man is man, a shepherd can actually believe he is a shepherd when he is not. There are a number of factors that can lead a shepherd astray. Solomon, a very wise man, was warned about what could lead a servant of God away from God – for example, possessions, power, and women. Unfortunately, Solomon fell for all three.
We are living in the last days. These are perilous times according to the Scriptures and the events unfolding in the church and in the world. This is a time for godly leadership to make the right decisions. This is a time for true shepherds to lead the sheep and protect them from the wolves the Bible warns are out to devour the sheep.
Unfortunately, the wolves are getting bolder and bolder in many churches and organizations. Because we live in the last days, apostasy abounds, and the sheep don’t know it. Many have been put to sleep by false teachers who are masquerading as shepherds.
It seems to me that pastors who play the role of a shepherd need more than ever to keep their eyes focused on Jesus, the true shepherd and stay true to His Word. When they get their eyes on human shepherds because they are popular or successful, they have the potential to be led astray.
If you belong to a church that has a good shepherd who teaches the Word and follows Jesus, support him in every way. However, we must always remember that a shepherd is just a man. I have known cases where shepherds have gone astray and they didn’t even know it. This is because they are human. If you know a shepherd like this pray that God, by His grace, will open his eyes.