The Norman Transcript


May 1, 2014

Is Jesus the good shepherd or lamb?

NORMAN — Is Jesus the shepherd (John) or the lamb (Revelation)?

The Rev. Perry Sukstorf, pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church: When interpreting the scriptures, context is king. As we approach the Book of John and the good shepherd passage, we see Jesus asserting his divine nature.

He is proving that he is over all of creation and, therefore, king and judge as well, especially when he speaks to those (Pharisees) who will not trust him with that authority.

But then he sheds light on how he reigns; as a shepherd with a calming voice and protective hand and vigilance. Western sheep herders drive sheep, pushing them forward with dogs or horses. Eastern sheep herders lead sheep by forming a relationship with them.

The good shepherd calls, and we follow, heading home to the promised land of a new heaven and a new earth.

Moving to Revelation, we must remember that this book is written in the apocalyptic style popular of that day, decades after the Ascension of Christ.

For those who were Christians it would be clear that the Lamb of God was Jesus who fulfilled the need for a Savior. The one who was sinless suffered the punishment for those who sinned.

The Passover lamb for eternity had been given over to death so that all who were marked with the blood of the lamb, not on their doorposts as they had done on the eve of the exodus in Egypt, but in their heart, would be saved from destruction.

The poem in Revelation 7:15-17, interestingly, says the lamb that was slain will actually become the shepherd, leading those who were washed in the blood of the lamb to peaceful pastures void of sadness and sorrow.

In short, there is no contradiction, Christ was both shepherd and lamb of God.

The Rev. Marcia C. Fleischman, senior pastor, Broadway Church: In the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to himself as the good shepherd. In the book of Revelation he is referred to as the lamb. These terms are not contradictory but they point us to ways that we describe concepts.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Hnsen Luger Kate Hansen still riding the Olympic cloud

    Not many people can say they actually accomplished their lifetime dreams. Even less can say they did it before turning 22....

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tests of a living faith

    We recently started a study on Wednesday nights of the letter James wrote to the church. This Bible book is a practical guide to Christian living, but more than that, it really forces one to think honestly about their faith. Is your faith ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Which Bible bit is most misinterpreted?

    The Rev. Scott Gordon, Claycomo Baptist Church: Many passages vie for consideration, but the first “bit” that came to mind we find in Matthew 7:1-6 and Romans 2:1-5....

    July 24, 2014

  • CAIR-OK plans day of service

    The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) will join Mercy Youth Club and IST Youth at the fourth annual Ramadan Day of Service Saturday....

    July 18, 2014

  • Guest preacher and author to speak

    The Reverend Dr. James White will preach, as well as discuss, his new book, “Brief Christian Histories: Getting a Sense of Our Long Story,” this Sunday at First Christian Church, 220 S. Webster. White will preach at both 8:40 and 10:45 ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Life on earth is a vapor

    The last of the baby boomers turn 50 this year. This generation of Americans, born from 1946-1964, is named after the post-World War II “baby boom.” I am a baby boomer and as one of the “late boomers,” one of the last to turn 50 — ...

    July 17, 2014

  • What does a bird ‘alone on a housetop’ mean

    Reassurance of God’s mercy The Rev. Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, Ebenezer A.M.E. Church: This verse, Psalm 102:7, has a notation in the New Living Translation, “A prayer of one overwhelmed with trouble, pouring out problems before the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Hillsboro resident’s first CD will benefit Haiti missions

    When Angie Sawyer's son passed away at age 5 she tried several ways to deal with her grief. But none of them worked, she said, until she turned to God. So to tell her story, she recently recorded her first CD, “On The Right Track.” All ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Anti-bias order creates rift

    In the intensifying debate over religious liberty, President Barack Obama faces pressure from opposite flanks as he prepares to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender people in ...

    July 10, 2014

  • Is anything really free?

    We have just celebrated the nation’s 238th birthday. We are extremely proud of and attached to freedom. The Founding Fathers wrote into the founding documents practical truths that make those freedoms attainable. I love the fact that they ...

    July 10, 2014