25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (I Peter 2:25).
One of the most frequent images found in the Scriptures illustrating the relationship of God and His children is of the shepherd and his sheep (Psalm 23; John 10; Isaiah 40; Ezekiel 34; Hebrews 13:20; I Peter 5).
The phrase “for you were straying” literally means to be led astray. This describes the sinner’s lost condition as condemned before God. To be led astray means to be deceived, mistaken and to wander about. The fallen sinner is led astray by either his sinful nature, the devil or the fallen world system.
There is but one hope for the sinner. To come into a personal relationship with the Shepherd: Jesus Christ. Remember when God brought you into the sheepfold of grace and mercy? Thank Him that once you were lost, but you have been found.
To return (ἐπιστρέφω; epistrepho) literally means to be turned around. When once we were led astray, we are also led to come to believe, come to accept or to have our belief system changed. Notice that we cannot to this on our own. We need help.
That help comes from the graciousness of God who not only saves us, but give us the ability to believe in order to be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 1:29; Acts 13:48; 2 Peter 1:1-2). We were totally helpless in our sin. But God decided to save us from this lost and dead condition by His grace and grace alone.
God enables the fallen and dead sinner to come to the Shepherd (John 6). The dead sinner’s (Ephesians 2:1-3) will has been freed from bondage. He wanders in chains and darkness no more. He now walks in the light of God’s grace.
The word overseer (ἐπίσκοπος; episkopos) means guardian or one who is responsible for another. God has taken upon Himself the responsibility of saving us completely. “Shepherd” and “Overseer” emphasize Jesus Christ’s outstanding guidance and supervision of those who commit themselves to His care (Ezekiel 34:11–16).
John 10:14-18 says, “14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Like a shepherd, the Lord not only saves us from the danger of sin and damnation, but also leads us along through this life on earth. He truly is our good Shepherd. Take time today to praise Him for His leading and guidance.
Soli deo Gloria!