1 Peter 2:25
For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
For the inspired apostle, and for every Christian teacher, no duty or relation of life is too low to be considered; and at the same time, no motive is too high to be urged. Peter is urging bondservants to submission and patience. Their character and conduct were not beneath his regard. In order to influence them aright, he reminds them of the spirit and the example of Christ himself, and exhorts them, remembering their indebtedness to his humility and self-denial, to imitate his conduct.
I. A PICTURE OF THE FLOCK.
1. What were those for whom the good Shepherd suffered and died? They were strayed sheep, who had wandered from the pastures of obedience in different directions, but all into positions of danger and beyond power of return.
2. What are they now that God's mercy has in Christ followed and found them? They have returned from their wanderings, and have re-entered the enclosure of safety; they are enjoying the favor of the Shepherd, the abundance of the pasture, the security of the fold. How true was this of Peter himself, of those to whom he wrote, of every Church gathered, whether from Judaism or from heathenism, to the love and care and fellowship of Christ!
II. A PICTURE OF THE SHEPHERD AND OVERSEER OF THE FLOCK.
1. He is represented as seeking and recovering the lost. Thus early Christian art delighted to depict him - as on the walls of the catacombs. Christ not only pitied the lost sheep, he actively interposed on their behalf, to save them from destruction. In carrying out his purpose of mercy he suffered on their behalf and in their stead; he laid down his life for his sheep.
2. He is represented as the Overseer of those whom he has recovered. As such, he controls and governs them; he guides them into green pastures and paths of righteousness; he supplies their wants from the abundance of his bounty; he delivers and protects them from all their foes. - J.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.