The leaders of God’s people, the pastors of Christ’s sheep, have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for. They are like silent watchdogs that give no warning when danger comes. They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming. Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied. They are ignorant shepherds, all following their own path and intent on personal gain. These pastors have lost their senses. They no longer seek wisdom from the Lord. Because of this, they fail completely, and their flocks are scattered.
Oh my brothers and sisters, your leaders mislead you! Everything they do is for show. They love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the churches. They love to receive respectful greetings, and to be called ‘Pastor.’ Their reputation as great leaders makes no difference to me, because God has no favorites.
Listen, you leaders of the church: You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost. Instead, you have ruled them with harshness and cruelty. You abandoned Christ’s flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were His shepherds, you didn’t search for His sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. For this reason, He now considers you His enemies, and He will hold you responsible for what has happened to His flock. Yet as it is written:
I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15)
The Good Shepherd will attend to the wicked pastors for their evil deeds and gather the remnant of His flock, bringing them back to His fold. The Holy Spirit will give His people overseers who will shepherd and feed God’s flock, His church (which He purchased with His own blood).
I appeal to you pastors and leaders: Care for God’s flock. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over God’s people, but lead them by your own good example. As Christ taught us all,
You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28)
Amen. Let it be so. Let’s follow Christ’s example together!