The Shepherd And Bishop Of Your Souls

J. D. Conley
October 9, 2016

The Apostle Peter penned these comforting words, "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1Peter 2:25). The careful reader will notice that the closing verses of this chapter are connected with the great Messianic prophecy of Isaiah chapter 53. Here in verse 25, Peter makes yet another allusion to Isaiah 53, this time from v.6 which says: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Prior to having our sins washed away, we were wandering aimlessly in the wilderness of sin. We had no compass, no guide, no protection, and no hope. As wandering sheep we were at high risk of being devoured by the prowling, salivating and roaring lion, Satan, (1Peter 5:8). In short, we were spiritually lost. But thankfully, "the chief Shepherd; the good Shepherd," (1Peter 5:4, John 10:11) came to our rescue. How wonderful that the past tense, "For ye were going astray," as now been changed to the present tense, "but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls [!]"

When did we return? What was the moment of rescue? It was at our conversion to Christ, when we were baptized into Him and had all our past sins washed away, (Romans 6:3-4; Acts 22:16). Sheep we still are. But we are sheep who are no longer wandering around in the miasma of sin. Clear headed direction has to been bestowed upon each one of us, and we know the way to heaven. Christ is the way, (John 14:6).

Not only is Christ "the way," Peter adds that He is also "the Shepherd and Bishop of [our] souls." Therefore, there is no reason for missing heaven! Christ is not only the way there, He is also our Shepherd. As Shepherd He is the leader, defender, and provider for the flock. Peter also states Christ is the Bishop of our souls. That is, He is the overseer, the Divine superintendent of our souls. As long as we stay in His fold and not drift away, eternal life will be ours.

If we miss heaven, it will not be because Christ misled us, but because we foolishly wandered away from Him. Therefore, remain in a returned relationship with "the Shepherd and Bishop of your soul [!]"