One Shepherd

“I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them – My servant David, He shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken” (Ezekiel 34:23-24). This was written long after King David had died and been buried so the prophet is speaking figuratively of Someone else. It was a prediction of One Who would come and feed a unified flock of God’s people.

When Jesus graced this world of sin with His Divine presence, said taught His disciples, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11, KJV). Jesus claimed that he was the fulfillment of this prophetic utterance. Matthew recorded Christ’s claim that He is the final authority on all things (Matthew 28:18-19) and the writer of Hebrews agreed (Hebrews 1:1-2). Therefore, when discussing the hierarchy or leadership of the church, Jesus is at the helm and share this exalted position with no one.

But, wait (as the info-commercials blare)! How many shepherds would there be? ONE. Nowhere in the Bible do we find any adjustment, amendment, or addition to that number. There is only one Shepherd and that Shepherd is Christ. So, how is it that we read of individuals who elevate themselves beyond their place, taking on titles of self-important grandeur and claiming to be the “Vicar of Christ” or “President and Prophet” or any other such title that sets an individual person at the head of a church? It the church belongs to Christ, He does not share that position, which only leaves us with one correct conclusion: any religious organization that puts a human being in the place of Christ has usurped Christ’s authority and position, and does not belong to Christ.

Persons claiming to speak for Christ are thinking too highly of themselves. There is simply no biblical authority for any human to take sole leadership in Christ’s church, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).

Jeff Sweeten