Saturday, December 04, 2010

Jesus - Shepherd

"The Lamb" by Stephen Sawyer
Used with permission
www.ART4GOD.com

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 40:1-17

TO CHEW ON: "He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young." Isaiah 40:11

The picture of Jesus as our shepherd is, of all the ways He is depicted throughout the Bible, perhaps the most comforting. From Psalms to Revelation, this metaphor keeps recurring. It shows us that Jesus is:
  • Providing
"THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters" (Amplified - Psalm 23:1-2)
  • Tender
"He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
      He will carry the lambs in his arms,
   holding them close to his heart.
      He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young"  (New Living Translation - Isaiah 40:11).
  • Sacrificial
"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary" (Message - all John 10, especially verse 11)
  • Risen
" Now may the God of peace—
      who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus,
   the great Shepherd of the sheep,
      and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—
 may he equip you with all you need
      for doing his will" (New Living Translation - Hebrews 13:20-21).
  • Seeking
"God, the Master, says: 'From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I'm going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they get scattered, I'm going after my sheep. I'll rescue them from all the places they've been scattered to in the storms'" (Message - Ezekiel 34:11).
  • Welcoming the wanderers
"You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you're named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls" (Message - 1 Peter 2:25).
  • Crowning the faithful
"And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror's crown of glory"  (Amplified - 1 Peter 5:4).
  • Shepherding us in eternity
"For the Lamb at the center of the throne
   will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
   ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’” (NIV - Revelation 7:17).

So, if you are in need, He promises to provide. If you are hurting, He will be tender with you. If you have loved ones who have never found Him, or have wandered away, He is seeking them and will welcome them back. If you are weary, He awaits in eternity with your crown, a hug and a Kleenex for your tears.

How do you need Him to be your shepherd today?


PRAYER: Thank You for this wonderful picture of Your care for me as my Shepherd. Help me to be a responsive, obedient sheep today. Amen.

MORE: Handel's Messiah

I can't read this chapter of Isaiah without hearing the great strains of many of the songs from Handel's Messiah:

"Comfort Ye My People"


"Every Valley"


"And the Glory"


"He Shall Feed His Flock"


Bible Drive-Thru
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