Parable of Good Shepherd by q16jac


									        The Parable of the Good Shepherd                                 down-to-earth experience of the people by NT times was that
                                                                         herdsmen drove their sheep intentionally onto other people’s
                             (Luke 15:1-7)
                                                                         land and were not to be trusted. Thus to address Pharisees as
An ancient saying states: “Let not a man associate with the              if they were shepherds would be considered by the Pharisees
wicked, not even to bring him nigh to the law.” Meals were               as aggressive and offensive. There must have been a very
very critical to the Pharisees. They had decided that it was             good reason for Jesus to have done so.
possible to keep the law in a precise manner and still live
                                                                           A second affront to them was to directly and pointedly blame
among the common people. But they had to be strict about
                                                                           them for the lost sheep. The very structure of life and language
what they ate and with whom. “Table fellowship” was as
                                                                           in the Middle East requires that people do not blame
important as the meal itself.
                                                                           themselves. No one says, “I lost my sheep.” “I did not miss
The food laws were an important part of the rules of cleanness. the train” but rather “the train left me.” “I did not break the
For some rabbis the concern about purity in regard to food and dish,” what happened was “the dish fell from my hand.”
meals was so exacting that two acquaintances were not                      Matthew 18:12 reads, “if … one of them has gone astray”
allowed to sit on opposite sides of the dining room in a                   putting the blame on the sheep.
boarding house if one was eating cheese and the other meat.
                                                                           Jesus intends an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with his
If they did not know each other then it was permitted.
                                                                           accusers. He is saying to them, “You are the shepherds of
“The Pharisees blamed the Christ for his invitation to sinners             Israel. You have lost your sheep. I pay the price to go after
and his acceptance of them. But in Luke 15 he made clear to                them and bring them back and now you come complaining to
them that these acts for which they blamed him were the very               me because I have compensated for your mistakes! This is
purposes for which he came into the world. Thus that for which outrageous!”
they blamed him, which they considered shameful acts, Christ
                                                                                                           The Sheep
considered a great honor.”
                                                                           The sheep are not assumed innocent. It is the nature of sheep
But worst of all, from the Pharisees’ point of view, was the fact
                                                                           to wander off or lag behind. Jesus’ audience, whatever their
that Jesus not only ate with sinners, but that tax collectors were
                                                                           walk in life, know this and there is no specific need to mention
also at his table. Tax collectors were
                                                                                              it. Sheep nibble and nibble, moving from one
religiously defiled by contact with
                                                I have a key by which I understand the        tuft of grass to another with no awareness of
Gentiles. But there was more.
                                                  scriptures. I inquire, what was the         their surroundings. By contrast a cat eats with a
Only one who has been part of a                 question which drew out the answer, or        constant heightened awareness of its
community living under military                    caused Jesus to utter the parable?         environment. Not so a sheep. If the flock is not
occupation can fully understand the                        - Teachings of the                 guided by an alert shepherd there will be a
feelings of such a community toward the                  Prophet Joseph Smith,                sheep lost every hour or so all day long. The
“collaborator.” French collaborators at                         p. 276-277                    shepherd knows this, and it is his specific
the time of the Nazi occupation were                                                          responsibility to constantly keep individual
bitterly resented and after the war killed          Then drew near unto him all the           animals moving with the herd. Thus when a
                                                 publicans and sinners for to hear him.       sheep is lost the shepherd is at fault, and the
or imprisoned. In South Africa
                                                     And the Pharisees and scribes
collaborators have been burned to death                                                       lost sheep is not innocent.
                                                 murmured, saying, This man receiveth
with rubber tires and gasoline. In
                                                     sinners, and eateth with them.           Shepherds in Lebanon and Palestine say that a
Jerusalem during the winter of 1990,
                                                              - Luke 15:1-2                   sheep once lost is terrified. It sits down, usually
Israel Shahak of Jerusalem, a Warsaw
                                                                                              in as sheltered a place as immediately available
ghetto survivor, told of the butchering of Jewish collaborators
                                                                           and starts shaking and bleating. When found it is in such a
(by Jews) before the fall of the ghetto. Palestinians on the
                                                                           state of nervous collapse that it cannot stand or be made to
West Bank, during their uprising beginning in 1987 have also
                                                                           stand. It cannot walk or be led, nor will it respond to the
executed collaborators. All of this is a tragic and yet
                                                                           shepherd’s well-known call. If it is not carried back it will die.
understandable response of an oppressed people, in their
community reaction to those who are cooperating with their                 If it is to be restored to the fold the shepherd must carry it on
oppressors. In like manner, during the ministry of Jesus the               his shoulders. The animal can weigh up to 70 pounds. The
land was ruled by hated Roman conquerors. The “tax                         country is rugged. It is a mark of the strength, courage, and
collectors” were collaborating with the conquerors.                        character of the shepherd that he rejoices when he finds it.
Jesus replies with a set of stories rather than saying,                  “The lost sheep was exhausted in the Golan Heights, and the
“Gentlemen, you accuse me of reclining to eat with the unclean           shepherd did not beat him but carried him. And in like manner,
and with tax collectors! Your information is correct. This is            Christ sought and constantly seeks to return the sinner to
exactly what I do. And not only do I let them in – I go out into         holiness and rescue him from destruction.”
the streets and shower them with affection, urging them to
come in and eat with me!”                                                The shepherd pays a price to carry the sheep back to the
                                                                         village. The sacrificial action of the shepherd alone saves the
         “Which man of you having an hundred sheep..?”                   life of the sheep. The understanding of the atonement here set
                                                                         forth may be as significant as is found anywhere in the NT.
The occupation of shepherd was one of the trades that no law-
abiding Jew should teach to his son because in the judgment of           In the early centuries the Christian churches of the Middle East
the rabbis it was impossible to keep the law and practice such           seem to have understood this. For them the cross itself was
trades. The puzzle is that the shepherd is a symbol for God in           too horrifying a symbol for use in worship. It seems that early
the Old Testament and for the leaders of Israel. Those leaders           Eastern Christians often chose an alternative to the cross as a
were remembered as shepherds and were honored. But the                   symbol of the atonement. The good shepherd carrying a large
sheep home over its shoulders was an image that enjoyed               The hostility which brought about the death of Jesus was due
widespread use.                                                       to the character of his teaching, or, more properly, the fear of
                                                                      its effect on society. Do we each harbor a similar fear?
           Why does the shepherd go after the lost sheep?
                                                                      Jesus here redefines or adds a new dimension to repentance.
The answer that the Christian tradition has almost universally        Repentance means acceptance of being found. It is a return, a
given across the centuries is this: He seeks the lost sheep           return to God. Both the self-righteous and the sinners need to
because he loves it. No doubt he does, but there is another           be brought home to God.
surprising and overlooked reason.
                                                                         (The above material is from Finding the Lost by Kenneth Bailey, 54-92)
Holiness is profoundly related to honor and glory. The name of
God, the holiness of God, the greatness of God are here all                                  My Name Shall Be Here
bound up with the honor and glory of God. Thus the shepherd,
besides loving the sheep, says to himself, “I never lost a sheep!     1 Nephi 20:9 - Nevertheless, for my name's sake will I defer
My father never lost a sheep! My grandfather never lost a             mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain from thee [the
sheep! Let it not be said in the village that I am lazy and afraid.   House of Israel], that I cut thee not off.
I know who I am and what I must do! If a good shepherd loses          D&C 27:21 – …confirmed you to be apostles, and especial
a sheep, he goes after it until he finds it. I will find my sheep!”   witnesses of my name.
(dignity, integrity)
                                                                      D&C 11:30 – …even to them that believe on my name. (also
[See Psalms 23]                                                       35:2, 35:8, 38:4, 42:1-6, 45:5, 45:8, 66:1)
Ezekiel 36:20-23 - And when they entered unto the heathen,            D&C 98:13 – And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for
whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they              my name's sake, shall find it again, even life eternal.
said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone
forth out of his land. But I had pity for mine holy name, which       D&C 105:33 - …my house, which I have commanded to be
the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither           built unto my name in the land of Kirtland. (Also 115:10, 13, 14;
they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith         101:64, all of section 124)
the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel,        D&C 110:7-8 - Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let
but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among           the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might,
the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great            built this house to my name. For behold, I have accepted this
name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have             house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself
profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that        to my people in mercy in this house.
I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified
in you before their eyes.                                             D&C 112:4 - …thou shalt bear record of my name. (Also 118:4)
Isaiah 43:4 - Since thou [House of Israel] wast precious in my        D&C 136:40 - Have I not delivered you from your enemies,
sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee:              only in that I have left a witness of my name?
therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.
                                                                   Psalms 23, Amplified Bible - THE LORD is my Shepherd [to
Thus the prophets tell the people that God is love and out of his feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie
compassion he saves for their sake. God is also holy and out       down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the
of concern for His holy name He saves for His sake.                still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my
Middle Eastern Christians have no difficulty with this concept of self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness
God. Westerners are sometimes troubled. It sounds like self- and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His
interest, and thereby improper for God. However, we are all        name's sake. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless]
well aware that antisocial behavior and lack of motivation grow valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for
out of a low self-image. The oppressed everywhere cry out for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide],
their personal dignity and worth to be recognized and              they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the
respected.                                                         presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my
                                                                   [brimming] cup runs over. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and
Both concepts of love and honor are within the first two           unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and
phrases of The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2-4) - “Our Father which     through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His
art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” “Our Father” is from the presence] shall be my dwelling place.
Aramaic word Abba which means “daddy.” The title invokes a
God of love. The prayer continues, “May thy name be holy.”         FOOTNOTE: It is difficult for those living in a temperate climate to
This means that God is here called upon to demonstrate his         appreciate, but it was customary in hot climates to anoint the
own holiness by his saving action. God is called upon to save body with oil to protect it from excessive perspiration. When
because he is holy.                                                mixed with perfume, the oil imparted a delightfully refreshing
                                                                   and invigorating sensation. Athletes anointed their bodies as a
The shepherd acts because he has standards he will not             matter of course before running a race. As the body, therefore
violate. He will maintain his own sense of worth at any cost.      anointed with oil was refreshed, invigorated, and better fitted
When he returns to the village and there is celebration it’s an    for action, so the Lord would anoint His "sheep" with the Holy
indication of his joy at the preservation of his integrity. Here   Spirit, Whom oil symbolizes, to fit them to engage more freely
then the return of the lost sheep is an occasion for joy, not only in His service and run in the way He directs--in heavenly
for the shepherd, but also for the community. The Pharisees        fellowship with Him. (
have made it into an occasion for complaints.
                                                                              (Lesson by Zan and Misty Larsen,
                      Extra Material                                                            Corrupt Shepherds

                               Quiz                                Ezekiel 34:2 - Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
                                                                   prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the
In preparation, draw a picture of a “masterpiece” painting on      shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves!
the board.                                                         should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Hand out sheets and pencils or pens. Ask the students to not       Ezekiel 34:10 - Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the
                                                                   shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them
say any of their answers out loud.                                 to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed
Display or show a copy of Preach My Gospel, specifically the       themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth,
pictures on these three pages: 82, 155, 166.                       that they may not be meat for them.
                                                                   Isaiah 56:11 - Yea, they are agreedy dogs which can never have
1. What would be the title of the picture?                         enough, and they are bshepherds that cannot understand: they all look
2. Imagine that someone else didn’t see the picture. How           to their cown way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
   would you describe it to him or her?
3. How would you describe the expression on the person’s                                      The Ratio of 99 to 1
   face in the picture (p. 82)?                                  David Stewart - High activity empowers a ward or branch,
4. Recap the Parable of the Good Shepherd.                       while inactivity saps vitality. Christ taught of the ninety and nine
                                                                 "found" sheep and the one "lost" sheep. Yet in the Church
5. If you used it the parable in a talk, what would your talk be today, the ratio is approximately forty "found sheep" to sixty
   about?                                                        "lost sheep" in the United States (if those who simply attend
                                                                 church can be considered to be "found"), and twenty-five
6. What is the shepherd’s motivation in going after the          "found sheep" to seventy-five "lost sheep" outside of the U.S.
    sheep? Why does he do it?                                      Which congregation branch is better suited to reach out to the
7. Would you say that the sheep is a victim of circumstance?       community: one with 75 actives and 25 inactives, or one with
   In other words, is it innocent?                                 75 actives and 300 inactives? The first is better able to meet its
                                                                   own needs and reach out to the community. The second is
8. After the Lord’s resurrection he appeared to the apostles       chronically unable to meet even its own home teaching "needs"
   on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Three times the Lord        and remains forever mired and self-consumed in its own
                                                                   problems, unable to effectively meet the needs of the larger
   asked Peter, “Lovest thou me?” Peter responds yes, then
                                                                   community, or even of its own new members. The ongoing
   the Lord says what to him? (“Feed my ___.”)                     baptism of poorly-prepared and poorly-fellowshipped converts
Recap answers on the board to #4 (key points of the parable).      who go inactive soon after baptism can quickly undermine even
                                                                   the most dedicated home and visiting teaching programs. (From
Here’s the whole parable -                                         an article titled “Cost of Inactivity” available from the home page of his website
4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose            Show
one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the                      3 Nephi 9
wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?              Abraham 3
(35 words)
                                                                   John 21:16-17 - So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter -
5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders,       1.   Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith
rejoicing. (13 words)                                                   unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto
6. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his                     him, Feed my lambs.
friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; 2. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas,
for I have found my sheep which was lost. (27 words)          lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that
                                                                        I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
A third of the verses (36% of the words) are about what
happens after the shepherd finds the sheep. Imagine not            3.   He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou
                                                                        me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time,
having the last third of a novel.
                                                                        Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all
Refer to the drawing of a masterpiece. Explain that a master            things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed
painting does not have unnecessary things in a painting.                my sheep.
Everything has a purpose.                                          See the lesson document named “Feed My Sheep.doc” for
                                                                   more about the above scripture.
See also:                                                         Teachers’ Note: Normally we think of the good shepherd in
                           a                  b                   the parable as being tender and kind. He most certainly is, but
John 10:11 - I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his
                                                                  the story really shows what an incredible amount of work that
life for the sheep.
                                                                  must have been to haul that sheep up and down rugged terrain
                                                                  to get it home. What this parable really shows is the
                                                                  atonement and the price Jesus is willing to pay to get us each
back home. It’s not really an image of a shepherd sweetly                  good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the
carrying a lamb with little effort, but a man sweating and toiling         devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; and now, who can deny
– the scene from Gethsemane, “And being in an agony he                     this? Behold, I say unto you, whosoever denieth this is a liar and a
prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great                  child of the devil.
drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44).
                                                                           Helaman 7:18-20 - It is because you have hardened your hearts; yea,
                The Good Shepherd - John 10:1-18                           ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd; yea, ye have
                                                                           provoked him to anger against you. And behold, instead of gathering
1. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into
                                                                           you, except ye will repent, behold, he shall scatter you forth that ye
the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief
                                                                           shall become meat for dogs and wild beasts. O, how could you have
and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of
                                                                           forgotten your God in the very day that he has delivered you?
the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice:
and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And            Lynn A. McKinley - The supreme object of reverence is God
when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the         the Father; his son Jesus Christ did the will of the Father by
sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they        effecting the infinite Atonement; and Latter-day Saints also
not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of         equally revere him. They revere not only his personage but his
strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood         name as well, for as Peter said, "there is none other name
not what things they were which he spake unto them.                        under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved"
                                                                           (Acts 4:12; cf. 2 Ne. 25:20). Taking the name of the Lord, or of the
7. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I
                                                                           Father, in vain is therefore a serious form of irreverence.
am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves         (“Reverence,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p.1228-1229)
and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if
any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find    The Nature of Names - LDS scholar Truman Madsen says the
pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to      “tendency to reduce language to a whimsical convention
destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might         without concern for more profound origins may be symptomatic
have it more abundantly.                                                  of the secularization [to make worldly] of men even the
                                                                          trivialization of life itself. At any rate, it reflects a diminishing of
11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the the religious consciousness that some names were thought
sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the anciently to be of divine origin. In antiquity, several ideas about
sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and          names recur –
fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The
hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 1. In names, especially divine names, is concentrated divine
14. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of            2. Through ritual processes one may gain access to these
mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I                names and take them upon oneself.
lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are         3. These ritual processes are often explicitly temple-related.
not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;
and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my          Both in Jewish and Christian parlance, divine names were and
Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. are a matter of life and death — in every physical and spiritual
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power       sense. Life is violated in taking or speaking names "in vain."
to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment One who thus profanes is acting in self-destruction, striking at
have I received of my Father.                                             the fountain of his own soul, his nature, the vital places of
Smith’s Bible Dictionary, “Sheep” - The following quotation
from Hartley's "Researches in Greece and the Levant," p. 321, Once one has partaken of the name, he wears it, he manifests
is strikingly illustrative of the allusions in John 10:1-16; "Having it. An identification tag is attached, as it were, to every element
had my attention directed last night to the words in John 10:3; I of his being (those who truly know him know him by name).
asked my man if it was usual in Greece to give names to the               The highest spiritual aspiration is that there will one day be full
sheep. He informed me that it was, and that the sheep obeyed harmony of nature in the One who names, the name, and the
the shepherd when he called them by their names. This                     named. (By Study and Also by Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W. Nibley,
                                                                          vol. 1, p. 458-474)
morning I had an opportunity of verifying the truth of this
remark. Passing by a flock of sheep I asked the shepherd the                            The Honor and Holiness of God’s Name
same question which I had put to the servant, and he gave me
the same answer. I then had him call one of his sheep. He did 2 Sam. 7:13 He shall build an house for my name.
so, and it instantly left its pasturage and its companions and            2 Kgs. 21:4 In Jerusalem will I put my name.
ran up to the hands of the shepherd with signs of pleasure and Ps. 72:17                 His name shall endure forever.
with a prompt obedience which I had never before observed in              Ps. 105:1      give thanks . . . call upon his name.
any other animal. It is also true in this country that a stranger         Ps. 111:9      holy and reverend is his name.
will they not follow, but will flee from him. The shepherd told me        Isa. 50:10 let him trust in the name of the Lord.
that many of his sheep were still wild, that they had not yet             Micah 4:5      we will walk in the name of the Lord.
learned their names, but that by teaching them they would all             Matt. 6:9      Hallowed be thy name.
learn them."                                                              Matt. 10:22 hated of all men for my name’s sake.
                                                                          1 Ne. 20:9 Nevertheless, for my name's sake will I defer mine anger,
Alma 5:38-39 - Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth                       and for my praise will I refrain from thee, that I cut thee
call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the                        not off.
name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good 1 Ne. 20:11 I will not suffer my name to be polluted.
shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the      D&C 20:36 honor, power and glory be rendered to his holy name.
sheep of the good shepherd. And now if ye are not the sheep of the        D&C 98:13 And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my
             name's sake, shall find it again, even life eternal.             one poor publican, which the Pharisees and Sadducees
D&C 109:22   that thy name may be upon them.                                  despised. He also gave them the parable of the woman and
D&C 112:12   be ye faithful before me unto my name.                           her ten pieces of silver, and how she lost one, and searching
D&C 132:64   I will magnify my name upon all those who receive.               diligently, found it again, which gave more joy among the
Abr. 2:10    receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name.              friends and neighbors than the nine which were not lost; like I
                                                                              say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
Interestingly in John 21:15-17 the Lord told Peter to feed his
                                                                              over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-and-nine
lambs once and to feed his sheep twice.
                                                                              just persons that are so righteous; they will be damned
David B. Haight - To us of his church, isn’t the duty clear:                  anyhow; you cannot save them. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph
forever to “feed my sheep,” his followers, those who have         Smith, p. 277)
accepted his gospel? They are his. Isn’t he saying they are
dear to him? You are stronger and your faith is firm. Be a friend
to those who are new. “Feed my lambs,” he is saying to us.
(Ensign, May 1979, p. 62)

Robert D. Hales - Brothers and sisters, do we really
understand the teachings of the Savior, “When thou art
converted, strengthen thy brethren”? (Luke 22:32) …Feeding the
lambs could well be missionary labors working with newly
baptized members... Feeding the sheep could well refer to the
mature members of the Church, some active and some less
active. (Ensign, May 1997, p. 80)

1 John 4:8 states, “…God is love.” Some people may dwell on
this message to the exclusion of other attributes of God.
Likewise Christians outside of our church use John 4:24 to
prove that God has no body, “God is a Spirit: and they that
worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” If D&C
130:22 can add to this understanding, so also can a search of
the scriptures reveal that his honor and integrity are also
immensely important to his love.

                    Words, like names, somehow
                   become almost tangible things -
Isaiah 55:11 - So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my
mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish
that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I
sent it.
Moses 4:30 - For as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words
cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they
must be fulfilled.
Book of Thomas (ancient document) - The Saviour said, “Blessed
Thomas, this visible light shines upon you not to keep you
here, but to make you leave. When all the chosen ones lay
aside their animal nature, this light will withdraw to the realm of
its being, and its being will welcome it because of its fine
service." (The Secret Teachings of Jesus, translated by Marvin W. Meyer, p.
139. Online at

                            The Hundred Sheep
Joseph Smith - The hundred sheep represent one hundred
Sadducees and Pharisees, as though Jesus had said, "If you
Sadducees and Pharisees are in the sheepfold, I have no
mission for you; I am sent to look up sheep that are lost; and
when I have found them, I will back them up and make joy in
heaven." This represents hunting after a few individuals, or
  The Good Shepherd
in Ancient Christian Art
           A good listing of such art is at

                                                                                     The Graeco-Roman Museum, Eqypt
                                                                          An extremely rare statue depicting Christ standing as a
                                                                          Shepard man carrying a lamb on one shoulder and
                                                                          surrounded on both sides by a little lamb. This statue
                                                                          represents the care that Jesus Christ bestowed on
                                                                          believers. The statue is carved of white grayish marble
                                                                          and dates back to the 3rd century AD, found in Marsa
                                                                          Matrouh. (

                                                        Dura-Europos, Syria
       In this arch that is below the arched canopy with its stars, we can barely make out two important biblical images .
       At left is the Good Shepherd, a common image for Christ;. Below that image, roughly sketched is Adam and Eve.
       Murals were painted between 232 and 256 CE, three quarters of a century before Constantine recognised
       Christianity.” (,

To top