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Why A Shepherd? by Bodie and Brock Thoene

Reviewed by April Gardner

"...This book may take only an hour to read, but when done the reader is sure to see himself in a different light and feel an immense gratitude toward our Good Shepherd who cares for us even when we're too distracted to notice."

Leader, Protector, Provider, Healer…Can anyone be all that? Why would the Son of God describe Himself as “The Good Shepherd”? And what does this pastoral scene have to do with you? Here’s why everything in life—your life—depends on the Shepherd.

--back cover of Why A Shepherd?


Every faithful churchgoer has heard at least one message on the 23rd Psalm, on Christ as our faithful Shepherd, and on us, the wayward sheep.

After recently sitting in on two month’s worth of adult Sunday school lessons about sheep and shepherding and their correlations with Scripture, I didn’t think the Thoenes would have much to offer me in this little book. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Bodie writes from experience as a shepherdess in the hills of California. That fact lends authenticity and personal sentiment to the parallels of this ancient profession with God and mankind.

Her aptitude for story telling shines through as she relates her experience among a flock of sheep and answers questions that you might have asked yourself in the past.

Why stand watch? Why worry? Why a rod and a staff? And of course, Why a Shepherd? By the end of the booklet, and after a dozen comparisons of us with sheep, the answer to the last question is more than clear. In fact, I began to wonder if God created sheep and gave them to show us simply how foolish and needy we are and how dependent we are on Him for protection, provision, and guidance.

This book might only take an hour to read, but when done, the reader is sure to see himself in a different light and feel an immense gratitude toward our Good Shepherd who cares for us even when we’re too distracted to notice.

Not as evangelistic in content as the previous two Little BOOKS of WHY, the salvation message is still briefly, clearly presented at the end, including a few pages of guidance for the new believer. There is even a call for mature Christians to take up the profession of assistant shepherd just as Christ did to Peter when He said “If you love me, feed my sheep.” (John 21:15, ESV). It is our love-borne duty to tend to the needs, the hurts, and the education of the lambs (new believers) and the other sheep.

Why a Shepherd? is an ideal read for any Christian longing to understand their Savior--their perfect Shepherd--more intimately.

Jesus is and always will be, the Shepherd who is also a Sheep. As the Shepherd is the owner of the sheep, He has the authority and the power and the ability to meet their every need…because He came to earth to live as a man (sheep in this analogy), He knows everything about us and what we face and what we require.

Jesus of Nazareth is the perfect Good Shepherd…

--all quotes from Why a Shepherd? in italics

April GardnerApril W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.