Most of the times I’ve heard sermons or Bible lessons on this passage in John 21, the distinction of the two different words used for “love” is brought out. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything presented about the two distinct Greek words used for “feed” nor of “lamb” and “sheep.” Surely it must all be significant. These are verses where the English language does not do justice to the passage. Looking at the original Greek language provides a fuller understanding of God’s intent.
Since Jesus speaks of sheep, we would be safe to draw out lessons for shepherding ministry. The next three posts will examine the three word changes which are not obvious in the English language. (Subscribe to be notified of new posts.) As we look at these different word changes we will find the following implications for shepherding ministry.
Entrustment: sheep (arnion and probaton)
Motivation: love (agapeo versus phileo)
Priority: feed (bosko and poimaino)
As already brought out in the Shepherding Ministry section of MinTools.com, shepherding is not limited to church leaders. Click below for more about each of the following shepherding venues.
Regardless of your means of shepherding, the truths from this passage should cause you to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you understand who it is God has entrusted to your care?
- Are you involved in this kind of ministry for the right reasons?
- What is the most important thing you can do for those within your care?
More for Church Leaders: Church Leadership Qualities – Be a Shepherd