The Sheep, the Flock, and the Shepherd

A sheep on his own can face many dangers. He could wander and get lost. He might face wolves or poachers. And he could struggle to find food and water. As a result of these dangers, a sheep can feel fearful, stressed, and depressed. The best thing for a sheep is to stay with his flock and to stay with his shepherd.

Humans are not so different. We face trials of many kind on this earth. Some are large and some are small. And often times our problems seem to pile up all at once. As a result, we feel fearful, stressed, and depressed. The best thing for a human is to have a community and to stay focused on the Good Shepherd.

Let’s take a look at flock (or community) first. A couple of weeks ago, I shared this poem by Daryl Madden. I want to take a look at it again today. Specifically, I want to focus on these words.

“As brothers and sister
In community
It is in our shepherd
We become one body”

When I read Daryl’s poem, this stood out to me because I was focused on learning about the Shepherd. But Daryl had a great point here and helped me to realize that I also needed to take the flock into consideration. And when I dug a little further I found that Jesus subtly reminded us of the importance of the flock.

In Luke 12:22-34, Jesus says some comforting words, reminding us not to worry and reminding us to trust the Lord. But I love how in verse 32a He said, “Do not be afraid, little flock…” This is a twofold reminder. Yes it reminds me that we need not be afraid, as we trust the Shepherd. But it also reminds me that we are part of a flock. Sometimes we feel we have to do life on our own. Sometimes we feel the weight of our worries on our shoulders. But we have an opportunity to surround ourselves with family, friends, and the church. Our flock will be there for us during difficult times.

Keep in mind that when Jesus refers to His followers as His flock, He included the Gentiles as well. He is not just singling out the Jews. In John 10, this is where Jesus talks about being the Good Shepherd. But one thing I want to point out is verse 16 where Jesus said, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” The Good Shepherd welcomes anyone and everyone into His flock who will accept Him as their Savior.

We are the flock and as such, we can learn from sheep. They feel comforted when they are with their flock and other sheep are in their line of vision. We too need to have a community of believers we associate with. When we are alone, we are in danger of the enemy getting into our minds and wreaking havoc on our thoughts.

Bonus: If you have twenty-four minutes to spare, watch this sermon by Jentezen Franklin: Three Steps to Victory. He not only talks about the dangers of doing life alone, but he also talks about how geese that fly together in a V formation are at an advantage. I will not go into all that he said because he said it much better than I could. If you have time to watch, I think you will be blessed by his words.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

~ 1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV

So it is important for us to stay with the flock, but it is also vital for us to stay with the Shepherd.

A sheep trusts the shepherd and we too need to trust our Shepherd. Trust might be something we have to continually learn. At least that’s how I have felt lately. But I am guessing I am not the only one? When worries come our way, it’s easy for fear to take over.

In John 10, not only did Jesus say that He was the Good Shepherd, but He also said He was the gate.

“…shepherds in the ancient world typically slept in the fields with their flocks to protect them from predators. Also, they usually herded their sheep into a small pen or enclosure that had four walls and a small gap that allowed the sheep to get in and out. However, instead of a gate, the shepherd himself laid across that gap, which meant nothing could get in or out without going through him. In other words, the shepherd was the gate…” (Excerpt from At the Table with Jesus by Louie Giglio.)

Picturing a shepherd doing this for his sheep is amazing. It shows what lengths he will go through to protect them. But take it a step further and picture The Good Shepherd as the gate and you are one of the sheep in the pen. He is protecting you from harm. He will do whatever is necessary to keep you safe. When we think about that, that should take our trust in Him to a higher level.

As Daryl mentioned in his poem, our Shepherd is:

“A leader of our life
To follow faithfully
To trust for sustenance
Rest in security”

This life will bring us difficulties, but when we remember the immeasurable love of our Shepherd, we can face those difficulties with confidence. (Or as my friend Lorraine would say, God-fidence!) When we keep our eyes on the Shepherd, instead of the worries that surround us, we can stand strong in our faith and have that peace that surpasses understanding.

I don’t know what is worrying you today. But I imagine you have something weighing on your mind. It seems life has been a bit stressful for everyone lately. So I just want to encourage you to keep your eyes on the Good Shepherd. He loves you and is always looking out for you. He will do whatever it takes to protect you and provide for you.

Dear Jesus, I admit that I have worries weighing me down. It can be so easy to focus on the problems and allow anxiety to creep in. And the unknown of what lies ahead is another stressor in my life. I don’t know what I will face each day. But You do, and that is comforting to remember. When I focus on the fact that You are my Shepherd, and You will go to great lengths to protect me, it helps me to put all my faith and trust in You. It helps me to face each day with strength. I know Your love is unfailing, and that You will do whatever is necessary to work on my behalf. I am so thankful for You. Help me to keep my eyes on You. It is in Your name I pray, Jesus. Amen.

Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies.

~ Psalm 17:7 NLT

Image by Sterlinglanier Lanier on

© Bridget A. Thomas 2023

14 Comments on “The Sheep, the Flock, and the Shepherd

  1. Bridget, you mention an important aspect of being believers. We are meant to be a part of a community. I know that it brings it challenges but when God tells us of the importance and need for it we have to remember that when things can be challenging with others at times we are not to give up. In the age of church and sermons being streamed online, it is easy to want to forgo gathering together. But there is nothing like face to face meetings and worshipping together. I have also personally found that when people get challenging to deal with in church, it is a reflection of how far I need to grow in terms of living them, showing them grace and so much more. If we stay in our cocoon often we feel like we are doing great but it is an illusion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Such good points, Manu. The pandemic caused many changes in our world. But we need to take a look and question if some changes are truly in our best interest. I absolutely love the way you use situations with challenging people to extend grace and love. That can be so difficult to do. But when we remember we live for an audience of One, He gives us the strength and courage we need. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Blessings! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      • I must say I do not always respond with grace and love. Often I remind myself to do it after I have grumbled. It is not easy but I feel that it is a way God uses to shape us to be more like him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am with you. Often times my feelings get hurt. I know deep down that this is what the enemy wants. And that alone should help us to stand strong against his tactics, by responding the way Jesus would. Very good point too about God using these situations to mold us. And keeping that in mind also helps us to move forward in love. Thank you, friend. Great thoughts to ponder!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed your post, Bridget. It is a comfort to me to be reminded that the Lord will protect me and provide my needs. Our community of believers are very important. The ability to have virtual meetings is a blessing, but gathering together does make a difference and should not be eliminated. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dawn, thank you. I am honored to know the words in this post were an encouragement. Usually the things I write are a reminder to myself as well. So I agree with all that you said. It is comforting to remember the lengths that the Lord would go to in order to keep us protected and provided for. And gathering together is also important. I think all humans need one another. And believers especially find a unique joy and connection when they come together in worship… Dawn, I wanted to tell you that I read your third book on fining healing for our hearts. Wow, I loved it so much. The words really brought me hope when I was feeling down. I smiled when I read the chapter called “One Day at a Time” for two reasons – (1) you and I recently talked about that phrase and (2) I also loved that you mentioned it was something your Mom said often. ♥️ The chapter called “Be Still” also really spoke to me, especially with where I am right now in this season. I truly loved each devotion and found comfort in it. Thank you for this beautiful gift of writing that you share with others! 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome, Bridget! I am thankful for God’s comfort and protection. We definitely do need one another as we journey through life. Thanks for reading the third book, and for sharing how it helped you!! I’m thankful it gave you comfort. I’m reading your second book and it has been helpful, it’s teaching me to maintain a thankful spirit. I like how I get to come back in the evening and write the 5 things I am thankful for. It’s amazing how much we have to be thankful for, especially when we take time to meditate on it. Thank you also for the gifts you have given through sharing your heart in your posts and books. 🥰

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the sweet words, Dawn. I am so glad to know the book has been an encouragement to you. I too have been trying to write my gratitude list each night, and it helps me to go to bed with contentment in my heart. And I agree – we really do have so much to be grateful for when we look around! 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Much need encouragement, love how comforting your words always seem to be.
    These words of your:❤️
    “We too need to have a community of believers we associate with. When we are alone, we are in danger of the enemy getting into our minds and wreaking havoc on our thoughts.”
    Yes God created us for relationship and especially relationship (DAILY) with Him.
    Thank you, Bridget, for the reminder of the Shepherd as the gate keeper, had forgotten that truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the sweet words. You warm my heart. I agree with you. God did create us to have a relationship with Him and with other people. I like how you emphasized daily meeting with the Lord. This is vital to keep us grounded. And yes remembering how our Shepherd is also our gatekeeper is so comforting. When we are facing difficulties, we can have peace when we know He is always there, looking out for us. Thank you, friend! Have a good weekend! ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

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