Sloppy and Sleepy Shepherds

One of the prominent metaphors for leadership in the bible is Shepherd. However, throughout the history of the Nation of Israel, most leaders failed. They were not faithful stewards of their flock. Prophet Ezekiel portrays the failure of the shepherds elaborately. (Ezekiel 34:3-4) Shepherds are parents, family, clan, community, religious, and business… leaders.

Did not feed: A shepherd must intelligently feed the flock. Scouting for green pastures to lead the flock is an important task. When the flock is led to a pasture, younger sheep are allowed to eat first so that they get tender grass. If older sheep are allowed first, the younger sheep will be left with thick blades of grass, which they cannot eat. Feeding the Word of God appropriately for each person is essential in church ministry. The strong sheep enjoyed the pasture and trampled the rest, muddied the water, and deprived others food. (Ezekiel 34: 17-19)

Did not strengthen: Weak sheep were left to fend for themselves. Concern for the weak, and care for the feeble is a mark of a good shepherd. The stronger sheep were trampling on the weaker sheep.

Did not heal and bind: Shepherds should heal the sick sheep and bind the injured. Sheep are foolish to eat grass with roots, swallowing mud also. Hence, they get sick quite often. Sheep are prone to injuries. They slip and fall often.

Did not bring back: If the sheep were lost, they did not go to search and bring them back. Lord Jesus taught that a good shepherd would go in search of even one sheep that was lost. (Luke 15:4-7) Such loving and caring shepherds do not sit to eat or lie down when one sheep is lost. They go out immediately, risking being attacked by wild animals.

Did not love: The Shepherds of Israel did not love the sheep. It is not possible to serve the sheep without loving them. It was just a profession for them, doing it for a salary. (John 10:12-14) Seeing the danger, they will run away.
Am I a good shepherd to all those who are entrusted to my care?