We are the sheep of his flock - 12 December 2019

Neville Turley

The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. Psalm 23:1 (GNT)

It was David, the shepherd King of Israel, who highlighted the analogy between God and his children and shepherds and their sheep.

On the night Jesus was born, there were shepherds in the fields nearby protecting their sheep. An angel appears and the glory of the Lord shone over them.  (Luke 2:3)

They were terrified but the angel reassured them. He brought joyous news. The long awaited Messiah had been born.  “Go and you will see a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great choir of heavens angels appeared, singing praises to God. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”  (Luke 2:13-14)

Immediately after the angels left; the shepherds set out for Bethlehem. There they saw everything had happened as the angel told them.

Excitedly, they related their own experiences to all, before returning home singing and praising God for what had been revealed to them. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ used the analogy of the shepherd to give insights, both to his own fate and also to how his church would grow.

“I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” (John 10:14-16)

Then during a festival at the temple, Jesus was bluntly asked:  “Are you the Messiah?” Jesus answered, “I have already told you, but you would not believe me. The deeds I do by my Father's authority speak on my behalf; but you will not believe, for you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never die. No one can snatch them away from me.” (John 10:25-28)

That is the kernel of the Christmas story. On that first Christmas, the Messiah was born.

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for the gift of your Son. May the Holy Spirit keep us ever mindful that He is our shepherd and we are his sheep. Amen

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