Biblegateway Verse of the Day

The True Shepherd (Ezekiel 34)

By Benjamin H. Liles

          It's an interesting thing to see how scripture lines up with other scripture to me. I always find that fascinating. In today's article I'm addressing how Jesus is the true Shepherd. Here in Ezekiel 34 we read, "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?...Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them" (Ezekiel 34:1-10).
           While Jesus tells us in the Gospel account of John, "The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep" (italics for emphasis, John 10:13). It matches up with the fact God told Ezekiel that these shepherds within the tribes of Judah and Benjamin which comprised Israel. After all we're hearing God tell Ezekiel, "These shepherds feed themselves over my people, my flock." So, He can say such a thing to those who take the word of God for themselves but withhold His word and truth from those they are supposedly to care for.

          It is for this reason Jesus says what He does against those who claim they serve the God of Moses. Paul wrote, "All who rely on works of the Law are under a curse. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law" (Galatians 3:10, Berean Study). Jesus says of the religious men, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers" (Matthew 23:2-4). 

           Basically, scripture is saying that those who lead others should also hold themselves to that same standard. For we read thus, "My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation" (James 3:1, American King James). Really and truly I sometimes feel as though I don't hold myself to His standards, but then again I don't have to be perfect by any means. Rather I need to hold myself to what Christ said, which He said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30, New American Standard). 

          Therefore, if we do our best to align ourselves to the standard that Christ gave, and allow Him to be present in our lives we can have Him as our true Shepherd. For we are told this: "Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day...You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God" (Ezekiel 34:11-31). Jesus, Himself, tells us, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd" (John 10:11, 14-16). 

          Just as God is Lord over Abraham, Isaac, and Israel (Jacob), He is also my God, my Lord and Savior as well. For His Son, Jesus the Messiah (that is the Christ) is of Jewish and thus Hebrew origin. And if He the Shepherd of Israel, first and foremost, then it stands that since Paul is one of His disciples (also Jewish), but at the same time a Christian, then Jesus is also my Lord and Savior! We have seen time after time how Jesus fulfills the Law as well as all scripture. We see it from the beginning of Genesis, "Let us make man in our image" (italics for emphasis, Genesis 1:26). But we also see this repeated in John's gospel too: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).

          Yet again we will always see how Jesus is the fulfillment of scripture. If we allow ourselves for Him to love us we will show His love to and for others as we have first been loved. And He did this by sending His Son, Jesus the Messiah, to the cross. Remember He said, "Father...not my will but your will be done" (Luke 22:42, Berean Study). He isn't just the Shepherd for Israel, but of all people of the world. In that same breath He is also the Savior of the world. We ought to humble ourselves, letting Him have access to us and our lives. I pray this blesses and helps you out this day. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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