We tend to underestimate the importance of Jesus' last words as found in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20 or in one of the many other scriptural instructions. One of these is Jesus' words to Peter after His resurrection.
Most sermons usually focus on the different nuances of Jesus' "Do you love me?" statements to Peter. Equally important are Jesus three commands:
Jesus does not allow us to think that we are doing well by nurturing a good relationship with Him if we are failing to care for His sheep. Although this is especially true for a pastor, we must realize that God has created the body parts to help care for each other. We all must care for one another. The hand will take a comb to care for the hair.
Two different Greek words are used for 'tend' and 'shepherd.' 'Shepherd' is a term describing the general care given to sheep. 'Tend' however focuses on the nurturing or feeding of the sheep. If we neglect to feed the sheep, they will die or live in malnutrition. They become easy prey for marauding wolves.
We nurture these sheep best by thorough and well thought out care. This assures that no sheep are left off on their own. It also instills in each believer his or her responsibility and ability to care for other sheep. Pastors like to think that their sermons provide this care. We will look at each stage and see if sermons really provide all the nourishment that the sheep need.
Let's get a clearer picture of the needs of God's people. Next
Biblical Foundations for Freedom