Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“The elders that are among you I exhort, who am also an elder . . . feed the flock of God that is among you.”
Peter, in 1Peter 5:1, 2
“Jesus said to him, Feed my sheep.”
“Blessed is that servant who, when his Lord comes will find him so doing.”
Jesus, in Matthew 24:46
“I will take you, one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you pastors according to my own heart who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
Jeremiah 3:14, 15
When Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep,” he meant for Peter to feed them with what he would receive from God, not for Peter to read the Bible to them.
Humans eat human food. God’s children eat invisible, spiritual food. One does not feed God’s children by simply reading the Bible to them. Ministers read the Bible to congregations thousands of times each week without there being even the smallest crumb of spiritual nourishment for God’s children. God’s food comes directly from God through a man. It is manna from heaven. The Bible tells of this manna, but the Bible itself is not it.
If a man has not heard from God, then he has nothing with which to feed the children of God. A man who has not heard from God cannot obey Jesus’ command to “Feed my sheep.” In fact, the commandment to feed the flock of God does not even apply to a man who has not heard from God. God only tells those to whom He speaks to do that. When men who have not personally heard from God try to feed people spiritual food, there is no increase in the knowledge of God; there is only an increase of darkness. The result of religious teaching without personal experience with Christ is confusion and division. The godless religion of Christianity originated with teachers who had not heard from God, and there is no greater evidence of that truth than the spiritual condition of Christianity itself.
“If any man minister,” wrote Peter, “let him do it as of the ability that God gives.” The truth is that there is no other way that one can truly minister at all. Apart from what comes from God, there is no nourishment to be offered to the saints, and only foolish men attempt to feed the saints with their own bright ideas.
Jesus exhorted his disciples to pray that the Father would send laborers into the field. Jesus understood that if the Father did not send men to feed His people with His knowledge, other men would feed them with their ignorance. He knew that God’s children are going to be fed by somebody. All Jesus was asking us to do is to help him pray that the flock of God would be fed by men who had really heard from God.