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A Different Kind of Shepherd

Today’s reading: I Chronicles 17-19; John 10:1-21

7 Now, therefore, thus shall you say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel, 8 and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. I Chronicles 17:7-8

14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14-15

God sees His people as sheep that need a shepherd, but only He can be the kind of shepherd that they need.

David’s life started out very simply. He was the youngest son of his family. He was assigned the unenviable task of taking care of the sheep, dirty, dumb sheep, who could not take care of themselves, nor be left alone. His work meant hot days and cold nights. We wouldn’t have imagined that he would one day sit on the throne of Israel. Much less, would we have imagined that his dynasty would be guaranteed by God Himself through the prophet Nathan. The Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, would be of David’s lineage.

As Jesus revealed Who He is through His teaching, He presented Himself as the Good Shepherd. He is good because, unlike mere hired shepherds or even sheep stealers, He would pay the ultimate price of death to save His sheep. The relationship He has with His sheep is intimate and unique. He knows His sheep and they know Him. They flee from a stranger. They do not recognize the stranger’s voice.

Sure enough, the people who heard Him make these claims and promises revealed their identity as either trusting Him or doubting Him. You could tell who His sheep were by their response to His voice.

God who is gracious to His elect people raised up a lowly shepherd boy to be king over Israel and to establish a throne upon which His Son would sit as King of kings and Lord of lords, but also as the only truly Good Shepherd of His people.

Be amazed at the beauty and intricacy of God’s plan. He painted a picture in the Old Testament through the history of Israel, and He fulfilled it in the advent of the Son of David, Jesus Christ, who will reign forever and ever. Flee other voices. Trust Him, my fellow sheep. We need Him who died and rose for us, dirty, dumb, and unworthy as we are.

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