To Shepherd his People

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘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.’”

Matthew 2:3-6

Sheep are mentioned in the Bible more than any other animal. They were used for all kinds of things: clothes, dinner, religion – there is a lot you can do with a sheep. They often traveled in herds and were tended to by a shepherd. He would make sure to lead them to places to graze and eat, but also protect them from predators. Because sheep were used for so much they were a prized possession and often the shepherd would know how many were in his care. This was especially true for when a sheep wandered off and the shepherd must seek it out. 

Sheep also became great metaphors for the people of God, and it was often said that all of us were sheep without a shepherd. This means that we wandered for a food source and were without protection. It means we didn’t have any sort of care or guidance so that our grazing was without true aim. It means that we were becoming separated from the herd. But Matthew makes it clear through citing Micah 5:2 that one of Jesus’ primary roles was to be the Shepherd of his people.

Psalm 23 expresses the idea of what the Shepherd would do. He would lead us to green pastures and still waters to rest and restore us. He would use his strength to defend us from the enemies’. He would gather us together so that we could enjoy a life of fellowship not only with each other, but with him. Jesus is the Shepherd we need. He is the Shepherd willing to lay down his life. Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we no longer fear evil. Let Jesus guide your life.


Maverick City Music

God of Abraham
You’re the God of covenant
And of faithful promises
Time and time again
You have proven
You’ll do just what You said

Though the storms may come and the winds may blow
I’ll remain steadfast
And let my heart learn, when You speak a word
It will come to pass

great is Your faithfulness to me
from the rising sun to the setting same
I will praise your name
great is Your faithfulness to me

God from age to age
Though the earth may pass away
Your word remains the same
Your history can prove
There’s nothing You can’t do
You’re faithful and true

I put my faith in Jesus
My anchor to the ground
My hope and firm foundation
He’ll never let me down