Isaiah 40:11 (ESV):
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
John 10:11 (ESV):
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Luke 15:1-7 (ESV):
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Sunday morning during church, our Associate Minister Will Pannell spoke about Jesus as our Shepherd. Coming home from church on the radio, the message playing was about Jesus as our Shepherd. Reading Isaiah 40 this morning, I read again how the Lord is like a shepherd. Will was reading from a book he had come across in college which stated that Jesus identified with His sheep. Sheep, apparently, really stink! Being a city girl, I know nothing about stinky sheep, so I’ll take Will at his word! A shepherd who truly cares for his sheep will identify with them and become like them, even to the point of smelling really bad like them. Jesus did this for us. A holy God gave up all His glory to become a human like us. He took on all of our sins on a cross, “smelling” like us. The perfect One became ugly and took upon Himself all of our uncleanliness. It’s no wonder Jesus used a shepherd motif, despite the fact that people despised shepherds during Jesus’ day. In fact, it was to shepherds that the angels pronounced the birth of Christ (Luke 2: 8-20). Jesus went against the grain of society to show His love. Jesus, our Shepherd who carries us and rejoices with a host in Heaven when we come to know Him and receive His love and forgiveness. The depth that our Shepherd goes to bring into the fold the one lost sheep!