"So, when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep."
Shepherds, the Word of the Lord: Feed My Sheep.
When you eat something decadent (say a hot fudge sundae with nuts!) you savor every bite, licking the bowl (you really shouldn't) to enjoy the very last drop. Yummy. Your appetite is momentarily satisfied. But as sure as the sun rises in the east, some craving will return. I stand as a testimony of that, especially when I am fasting for the Lord. Get behind me, Satan!
Sheep need food, especially when most of the time (not all mind you) many do not enter a church sanctuary but once a week. The precious time they are in your care could very well be the moment the Holy Spirit uses to draw them to the Father. It is a huge responsibility. Sheep must leave the presence of God's house (their pasture) knowing they are fed, which, in turn, very well might keep them for several days' worth of working/walking through life. Without this food, they will go astray. Sheep traditionally (and I use that term lightly) will remain where their stomachs (spirits) are satisfied.
Consider Martin Luther, John Calvin or Jonathan Edwards (if you have not heard of these men it is worth your time and a Google), who preached and taught the undiluted Word of God allowing the Holy Spirit to perform his duties of pricking hearts for the Kingdom. It is only the Word of God that has the power to change the way a human soul thinks, feels, or behaves. How can the sheep hear unless the Word comes forth? Where else will they be fed if not for the Shepherd's that stand flat-footed in pulpits of America (mostly on Sunday mornings) and preach the whole counsel of God? Many in the Body are frustrated in the Kingdom when all Jesus asks is to feed His sheep. One needs no devices, light shows, gimmicks, or human reasoning to bring forth God's will.
Christ's Passion gives one the ability to have life everlasting, and it is only through His blood where atonement occurs. One must stop to consider how horrific His sacrifice was when He (willingly I might interject) laid His life down for His sheep. No man can reason the ways of the Lord in its totality, but we must follow what He tells us in His written Word. Feed His sheep.
The Shepherd's role is to care for, feed, and tend his flock so they can mature into individuals with nothing missing and nothing broken. Preach the Lord Jesus Christ Almighty. Preach the Gospel accounts in full measure. Teach about the nature of God that is evident in the first five books of the Bible (The Torah). Teach about the icons in the faith that believed God Almighty. Teach about the people who turned to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit without trying to invent another church function to swell numbers. And finally, while doing this, DO the works of the Savior: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked and give money to those who are struggling (Isaiah 58:7-14). In other words, "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 7:12).
As for you sheep, Kingdom truths are complete and well able to set the captive free completely. I know. Pray and ask God where your pasture is, for YOUR life is at stake. I am a sheep, and I need to have food/Word.