The Good Shepherd

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“He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord.” Micah 5:4

This prophecy about the coming Saviour Lord Jesus makes for a wonderful description of how He would fulfill His role as the Good Shepherd. Jesus, trying to relate who He was, used the metaphor of the Good Shepherd to help His followers understand Him and His purpose in coming.

Jesus said:

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:11-16)

The Prophet Micah said the coming Saviour would “stand and feed.” The word ‘stand’ is understood as appointed, dwell, ordain or to stand by. The word ‘feed’ is to tend a flock or to associate with as a friend. In the Prophet’s description of the coming Saviour he was pointing out the “Good Shepherd” that Jesus laid claim in His address to the religious leaders of Israel.

Jesus indeed is the Good Shepherd. The scripture gives us this example:

“And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)

When Jesus saw the shepherd-less people, He did just as the prophet Micah predicted. Jesus, the “Good Shepherd”, fed them. Jesus fed them the word of God, “he began to teach them many things.” Jesus came alongside, stood with them and fed them spiritual food.

What does the Word of God say about people who are void of the work of the Good Shepherd?

“But when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” (Mat 9:36)

If you are not being shepherded by Jesus, you do not have the strength on your own to be pleasing to God. Jesus is “moved with compassion” not because the people were without physical strength but His “compassion” was motivated by their “fainted” in their pursuit of God's approval. 

Without the work of the Good Shepherd, you will be “scattered abroad.” Your life will be spent chasing after religious teachings and you will find no rest for your soul. Just as Jesus was “moved with compassion for the crowds", He is moved with compassion for you.

Unless your life is “shepherded” by Jesus your life will be lived in confusion; emotional and spiritual confusion. Do you know the “Good Shepherd?” Has Jesus come alongside you and comforted you with spiritual food? Life in this sin-darkened world is a cold, lonely place to live.

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