THE GOOD SHEPHERD!
For this is what the prophet has written:
Have you ever wondered why God would chose to bring His son into a world in the most humble of circumstances: born from the womb of a Nazarene of no social status or standing and made His entrance in a manger among animals stench and dung. The creator of universe who owns it all, all of creation including our very breath enters our world in unexpected lowest undignified way.
“In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross.”(A criminal’s death)
The creator resembled the created (became flesh), the most powerful ruler of the Universe became the helpless babe in need of earthly caretakers and protectors. To what end did he abase himself, and what caused this transition of emptying himself (becoming nothing). It is for our benefit: to feel what we felt and experience all our struggles in these fleshly (earthly) vessels so that we could come to him because He understands, because He knows what we are experiencing first hand. (ie: If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The servant is not above His Master…Paraphrase)
Hebrews 4 15:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses (sympathizes), but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are_ yet did not sin.”
When Christ was born and rested his head on a bed of straw and was wrapped with linen not fit for a King, but with what his earthly parents could offer out of their poverty, His first visitors were the Shepherds. Heaven rejoiced and Angels heralded the news to the lowest of men, to the loneliest of men, to the forgotten of men: The Shepherds. They were his first visitors who beheld the promise from Old and who reflected His heart. They offered their praise in fullness of heart.
Luke 2: 8-20:
The Shepherds and the Angels8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
Then the three Magi payed their respect offering gifts fit for a King: Gold (for the Kings of Kings); Incense (for the Priest of All Priests); and Myrrh (To honor His sacrifice on the Cross). They understood that a King came so He could die. (The Nativity Story)
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east[e] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
The Kings of Kings was born among His subjects: The Shepherds. He was born in their midst as to declare I have come for the least of these, the poor, the hungry, the neglected, the forgotten, the oppressed, and I will be their head. I am the good Shepherd and will care for my sheep as was stated in Isaiah 40.
I am the good Shepherd who will do the following:
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
A Shepherd who know that His sheep with be full of weariness and He will give His sheep rest in Himself and will daily bear their burdens (Psalm 68:9)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
A Shepherd who will willingly protect and defend His sheep with my own life.
John 10:14-18:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Jeremiah 23: 1-4
The Righteous Branch
1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.
This is our Savior’s heart! A true Shepherd and because He is such the proclamation in the Psalm of David stems from that realization: Because He is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. He is Jehovah Rohi!
Psalm 23: A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
As our Lord restored Peter onto Himself and Ministry from the three denials by a camp fire marked by a Rooster Crowing and rewrote Peter”s story by the Sea of Tiberias where He cooked them breakfast and lavished grace, mercy, and love upon His disciple who now had laid hold of His frailty, a broken vessel, a Humpti Dumpti, devoid of arrogance and self reliance, He said in John 21:15-17: “Simon Peter, Do you love me more than these(fish)?” three times then the following instructions respectively: 1) then Feed my lambs, 2)then Take care of my sheep,3) then Feed my sheep”
Tend to them, Care for them, Protect them, Teach them, Correct them, but let all this be done in the power of My Spirit:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
JEHOVAH ROHI, Good Shepherd, and Friend…..We Celebrate your birth and sacrifice on our behalf. As the three magi have done we honor you as King of Kings, Priest of All Priests, and The Lamb of God who was slain and has reconciled us to our Father and has torn the veil separating us from Him. God Most High, High Priest, Lion of Judah you are worthy of our praise and all that we are. May your heart shine in our lives. We have it all because we have “You” and you have given us yourself without limit. May our heart behold the Selfless King who stooped down and heard our cries to be redeemed and restored to the only One who could completely fill us and make us well: new. Glory to God in the Highest. Glory to God in the Highest. Glory be to God in the Highest
Now and Forevermore.
Happy Birthday Good Shepherd!!!
Memory Verse: (Jars of Clay)
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
- The Nativity Story
- Sermon from GCC