The 7 I AM Statements of Jesus— I AM The Good Shepherd.

Jesus makes His fourth “I AM” statement in John 10:11-12, where He says, “I am (what you need me to be) THE GOOD SHEPHERD. The good shepherd GIVES HIS LIFE for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees THE WOLF COMING and LEAVES the sheep and flees; and the wolf CATCHES the sheep and SCATTERS them.

Vs. 12 tells us about the wolf that scatters the sheep. So the sheep are in need of protection and direction. This is a metaphor describing man in sin—he is in danger, a prey to the enemy. The sheep in danger would require Yahweh to be their Shepherd.

You find that Yahweh is described as a Shepherd in the Old Testament:

Ezekiel 34:31 (NKJV)

31 “You are MY FLOCK, the flock of MY PASTURE; you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God.

Psalm 23:1 (NKJV)

1 The Lord is my SHEPHERD; I shall not want. 

The shepherd in Israel is one who cared for and loved the sheep. The sheep was treated as a member of his family (see 2 Samuel 12:1-4). So the word “shepherd” actually shows the fatherhood of God—the One who cares for and provides!

In the Old Testament, God condemned the leaders of Israel for being bad shepherds:

Ezekiel 34:7-9 (NKJV)

7 ‘Therefore, YOU SHEPHERDS, hear the word of the Lord: 8 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every BEAST OF THE FIELD, because there was NO SHEPHERD, nor did My shepherds SEARCH FOR My flock, but the shepherds (the leaders of Israel) fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I AM AGAINST THE SHEPHERDS, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.” 

These Jewish leaders were leading Israel astray, prioritizing themselves over God’s sheep. (Interestingly, Jesus was also referring to the Pharisees in John 10:12— the hireling who doesn’t protect the sheep)

God then promises to shepherd His own people, ” ‘For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I MYSELF will SEARCH FOR My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and DELIVER THEM from all the places where they WERE SCATTERED on a cloudy and dark day. And I will BRING THEM OUT from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will FEED THEM in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I WILL FEED MY FLOCK, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God. “I will SEEK WHAT WAS LOST and BRING BACK what was DRIVEN AWAY, BIND UP the BROKEN and STRENGTHEN what WAS SICK; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:11-16)

Vv. 22-24 (Ezekiel 34) then speak of David shepherding God’s people; therefore I will SAVE MY FLOCK, and they shall NOT LONGER BE A PREY; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will establish ONE SHEPHERD over them, and HE shall feed them—My servant DAVID. HE shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and MY SERVANT DAVID a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Worthy of note is the fact that King David was already dead at the time of this writing.

David” here is therefore a figure of speech (a synecdoche—using something closely associated with another to replace it). “David” here would refer to THE SEED of David, one who comes from David’s linage—This is speaking of the Christ! God had promised David the King that the Messiah would come from him (see 2 Samuel 7:12-16).

Jesus came from David’s lineage. Matthew 1 records Jesus’ genealogy and King David is mentioned!

Matthew 1:6 (NKJV)

6 and Jesse begot DAVID the king.

DAVID the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.  

Ezekiel 34:23 therefore finds fulfilment in the Lord Jesus Christ—He is the DAVID God spoke of! He is now qualified to shepherd God’s people. Hence, He says, “I AM the Good Shepherd.

Yahweh became a Man in the lineage of his friend David. He is now THE Shepherd, just like He promised. He leads men in sin out of the realm of darkness and conveys them into His Kingdom.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.



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