Balik-Tanaw | The Good Shepherd

Union Theological Seminary

Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 25, 2021

Psalms 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29 (22)

Acts 4: 8-12

First John 3: 1-2

John 10: 11-18

THE GOOD SHEPHERD. Four of the more popular shepherds in the Hebrew Bible are Abel, Moses, David, and Amos. In the New Testament, shepherds are the first to receive the good news of Jesus’ birth. In many Christmas pageants, young children usually play shepherds or sheep. Many of us grew up with Sunday’s “Good Shepherd” lection from the Gospel of John. Many among us grew up with allegorical interpretations of this passage.

The shepherd is not really a shepherd. The sheep are really not sheep. The passage is really about something else.I am not doing that today.Sheep do know the voice of their shepherd. Sheep do follow their shepherd in and out of the sheepfold. Sheep do run away from those whose voice they do not know. Sheep are smart. Ask any shepherd. Both sheep and shepherd know that life in all its fullness is not inside the sheepfold. Never has been, never will be. There’s no grass, no springs, no freedom. All these are outside of it, in the wilderness. This is why shepherds call out the sheep by name and lead them out, into the wilderness. This is why shepherds go ahead of the sheep and they follow them; into the wilderness, into the quest for life. Life in all its fullness.

And then there are those who think that the Good Shepherd is the Communist Party and the Sheep are those who are behind the Community Pantry. I have often heard that if you’re far enough to the right, everything will look left to you–even shepherds and their sheep. #EndTheCultureOfImpunity#IAmWithJesus#CommunityPantryPH

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