Ministry Resources

Excess Love

Author: Dave Arnold

Jesus was often pictured and spoken of as the “Good Shepherd.” The Early Church maintained a great fondness for Jesus as the Shepherd Who cares for His sheep.

This is seen by the many gems, seals, fragments of glass and other items, which have survived for centuries, portraying Jesus as the Good Shepherd. In the early Christian sculpture, Jesus is frequently shown this way. In paintings that have been found on the walls of catacombs and on sculptured stone coffins in the catacombs, He is usually pictured with sheep at His feet and a lamb on His shoulders.

The catacomb paintings always occupy the place of honor—the center of the vault or tomb. Undoubtedly, during their persecution and suffering, the Early Church was comforted to view Jesus as the loving, strong, and compassionate Shepherd.1

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

“One of our poets says of the Lord Jesus – ‘Found guilty of excess love’” (Spurgeon).2

1. Adult Teacher Supplement, First Quarter, Companion Volume to the Adult Teacher 1969, Fifth Annual Volume, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO, Copyright 1968, p. 20.

2. The Treasury of David, C. H. Spurgeon, Volume Two (Part 2), Psalm LXXXVIII to CX, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 3473, Peabody, MA, 01961-3473, p. 437.

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