Jesus, the Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
In my urban Canadian setting I never see herds of sheep, goats or cattle. But it is a common sight, in many of the places I have traveled to or lived in, to see young children or grown men moving with their herds as they search out water or greener grazing lands. The imagery of Jesus as our shepherd comes to life!
I once watched a goat without a shepherd frantically trying to get out from between two rolls of razor wire in a refugee camp in Kenya. The goat had gotten tangled as it fell to the temptation of a few mouthfuls of dried grass. It seemed to be bleating, “Please, someone, come and rescue me!”
And that is exactly what our Good Shepherd does.
In what is one of the greatest paradoxical mysteries of all time, the Great Shepherd of the sheep becomes the sacrificial lamb. Advent is the time we await the beginning of the path of suffering and humiliation that the King of Glory walks in order to rescue his broken creation. But we also anticipate great rejoicing, for the coming of our Shepherd brings to fruition the well known and comforting words of Psalms 23.
The Good Shepherd provides for our needs to the point of overflow, gives safety, restoration, protection and peace.
And our Good Shepherd then commissions those he has cradled, cared for and rescued to also become shepherds. As we part ways at the end of one of Resonate’s Educational Care training sessions, we pray the blessing of Hebrews 13:20-21 over each other. Make this your prayer today!
Prayer: Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21).
Diana Boot usually lives in Uganda and works with Resonate Global Mission as a Christian Education Developer