Saturday, November 29, 2008

Jesus Is... (Part 2 expounded upon)

Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

Text: Ezekiel 34
Sheep are naturally very stupid creatures. They need to have someone to guide them or else they will come to utter ruin out of sheer stupidity. God set up shepherds for His sheep-- kings, priests, etc.-- but they did not do as He had commanded them; rather, they used their position to serve themselves. They fed off of the "sheep" (people) and did not lead and watch after them as they should have. So the sheep wandered and were lost. Because there was no sufficient shepherd (prophet, priest, and king), the Great Shepherd (Prophet, Priest, and King) stepped in. He searched for the lost sheep, and found them. He led His sheep to fresh pastures and still waters. He cared for the weak and the wounded among them. He judged the sheep who were all about themselves, striving to get all they could first.

In this chapter of Ezekiel, there is a very exciting prophecy: "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it" (verse 23,24). This instantly turns my mind to the words of Jesus Christ: "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." "My servant David" refers to Jesus Christ, who was of the lineage of David, yet also the Son of God. He indeed is a Shepherd to His people.
So here I am: Melanie the Bewildered. I am a very stupid (as in, silly) sheep who never really knows where she is going or what to do. Yesterday morning when I read this passage, I had begun with a mind clouded by a million things that would like to veil the pathway from my eyes. I worry, I fret, I wander, I forget... and yet my Jesus guides me when I don't know the way; He carries me when I am too weak to go on by myself; He leads me on when I begin to trample the ground around me (spiritual stagnance); He gives me hope when otherwise I would have none. What a wonderful, dear Shepherd! How lost I would be without Him! I am totally insufficient, unable to guide my own self. If I was left to myself, I would go directly to destruction. I must stay close to my Shepherd, for there is safety and hope. He will lead me on to better pastures and fresh water. He will care for me when I am hurt or sick, and He will provide protection from the cold and the weather.

God's love amazes me! Who am I, that He would search for me time and time again and always find me and bring me back? How is it that He doesn't ever "write me off" (as Dan says in Last Flight Out)? What overwhelming mercy and goodness. What a wonderful Shepherd we have in Jesus Christ.

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those who are with young" (Isaiah 40:11)

"For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day" (Ezekiel 34:11,12)

"For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1 Peter 2:25)

"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, 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" (Hebrews 13:20, 21)


Teddy said...

Wow! thanks Melanie! I LOVE thinking about Jesus Christ, my Shepherd... it's so calming!

Teddy said...

Oh, and I figured out why I can't see your writing unless I right click and drag: my computer is trying to make both your background AND your writing the same shade of yellow. Weird, huh?
And I'm kind of guessing on the vote thingie... I did vote for "Pride and Prejudice", right? 'Cause I had to strain to tell what it said. I really hope it wasn't a trick question in which I picked "Pride and Pestilance". Hmm, sorta sounds like Israel in the wilderness, eh?

Teddy said...

Hey, keep up the chant on tory's blog! :) ;)

Melanie said...

Teddy, it doth delight my heart that thou dost flood my blog with comments. It is very cheering indeed. :-)

I love thinking about Jesus as my shepherd too. (That's why I've posted twice about it. ;-) )

That is wierd why your computer is trying to make the background and writing yellow. The background is supposed to be blue. :-S But you can read it if you highlight it?

I guess you must have voted for Pride & Prejudice, because there are 3 votes on it now. :-) And no, it's not Pride & Pestilence, lol. ;-)

Teddy said...

Whew! What a relief!