Sunday, December 23, 2012


Today is the twenty-second day of of Advent.  Our word for today is "Shepherd."

Ezekiel 34:22 So I will save my flock; they will not be hurt anymore. I will judge between one sheep and another. 23 Then I will put over them one shepherd, my servant David. He will feed them and tend them and be their shepherd. 24 Then I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be a ruler among them. I, the Lord, have spoken.(NCV)

The preceding verse is a prophecy of that day when God establishes His Shepherd over His people.  And that Shepherd will be a descendant of David.

Matthew 2:6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”(NIV)

After King Herod heard that certain wise men from the east had come to worship a baby who was said to be King of the Jews, he was very interested.  He called some of the chief priests and teachers of the Law and ask them about the prophecy of this king.  The forgoing Scripture was their reply.  Notice that they indicated He would be a shepherd. They were actually quoting the prophet Micah.

Micah 5:4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.(NIV)

The word translated shepherd in the Matthew passage is the same Greek word translated as pastor when referring to that particular church office. The pastor of a church is a shepherd.  He is an under-shepherd, Christ is the great shepherd.  When we trust Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, Christ becomes our great shepherd.

One of the most familiar Psalms is Psalm 23.  "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want ..."

As our shepherd He does three things for us, his sheep.

1)  He Gathers us.  We must remember that Christ is not a hireling, not a paid shepherd.  He actually owns the sheep.  He owns us because He bought us with His own blood.  We have been redeemed. 
1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:(KJV)

In his benediction, the writter of Hebrews refers to Christ the Redeemer as a shepherd.

Hebrew 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.(KJV)

He gathers us together as His church, those truly redeemed from the bondage of sin, and puts us into his fold.  Are you part of His redeemed flock?

2)  He Guides us. 

Psalms 23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
2 He lets me rest in green pastures.
He leads me to calm water.
3 He gives me new strength.
He leads me on paths that are right
for the good of his name.(NCV)

Without His leadership we would be stumbling in the dark.  We would not find the calm waters, or stay on the paths that are right.  We know that where ever He takes us, He has been that way before.  He knows where He is going.  We can trust Him completely.  Are you trusting Him today?

3)  He Guards us.  Jesus Himself becomes the door to the sheep fold.  In ancient times sheep folds were made by putting the sheep in a circle of rocks with one opening.  The shepherd would take his watch in that opening.  Any one or any thing that would harm the sheep had to go over or through the shepherd.  Jesus as our shepherd stops all that would do us harm.  Note the following Scripture.

Psalm 23:4 Even if I walk through a very dark valley,
I will not be afraid,
because you are with me.
Your rod and your shepherd’s staff comfort me.

5 You prepare a meal for me
in front of my enemies.
You pour oil of blessing on my head;[a]
you fill my cup to overflowing.
6 Surely your goodness and love will be with me
all my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.(NCV)
Are you resting in His protection?

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