characteristics of a shepherd in the bible

They were considered social misfits, thieves, and religious outcasts. The shepherds, these characters of Christmas, provide a different perspective on the Christmas story, reminding us that the gospel reaches all people. On a clear night, away from the city’s lights, we can gaze into the night sky and see a multitude of stars. Tom Harper is publisher of BiblicalLeadership.com and CEO of Networld Media Group, the site's parent …. Loves his sheep and develops a close, intimate relationship with them so that they know his voice and trust him. They spy greener grass in the other direction or fail to notice when the flock moves … They observe him sacrificing time, money and energy for them. Born into an entrepreneurial family, Martha has been involved in small business her entire life. Packed into that one statement is the good news everyone needs to hear. In these verses God teaches us that a census has been ordered in the land. The night sky lights up with the glory of God and all those sitting in the fields were overcome by the light’s intensity. Residents are to return to the city of their lineage. They hated this man. These nine characteristics of sheep in the Bible are so close to our lives it’s uncanny. This Savior is the promised Messiah, the anointed one spoken of in the Old Testament whom the Jewish people anticipated. “Sheep” and “flocks” are mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, using twelve different Hebrew words and four Greek words. 1. The story of the shepherds reminds us of and helps us to understand the reach of the gospel to all people. Throughout Scripture, sinners in general, and God’s people in particular, are described as sheep. Sheep have no sense of direction. They spent their entire lives taking care of sheep. A strong sympathy for helpless animals, though sometimes misdirected, is a marked characteristic of the people of Bible lands. 1. Indeed, much of the Exodus story is told with elements of that image: God leading his people through the wilderness, feeding, caring and protecting them. She knew who the baby was, and this unpopular group of misfits has arrived to confirm it. These docile animals are easily led and completely at the mercy of … Like the shepherds, Paul had a new song of praise in his heart. 3:4). Any wild animal seeking to harm the sheep could only enter through the gate guarded by the shepherd. They observe him sacrificing time, money and energy for them. Here are five qualities that I found, that describe a good shepherd, along with five scriptures that show why this is such a perfect description of Jesus…. First, he would have a rod. As believers we must understand that the gospel reaches all people, a lesson we can learn from the shepherds at Christmas. God has entrusted believers with this life saving message of hope. The pastor understands that he is their shining example. But ten years had passed, and Paul was a new person, inside and out. The church senses that the good shepherd genuinely cares for them and puts their interest ahead of his own. The rams of this breed are horned, and the ewes are not. The angel does not tell the shepherds to go, but how else could they find the Savior? That may have done more to motivate me into ministry than the scores of sermons I heard from him. So many shepherds in the Bible. A major news network decided to revisit the tragedy and run a special on TV. David Karn is the Senior Pastor at Grace Community Church in Goldsboro, NC. Let’s just say they have no sense of direction–at all. The manger is the epitome of humility. They see … The people have such love and respect for him that they instinctively follow. Now, however, they have a spring their step and a new song of praise as they return to their work. This sermon is part of “The Characters of Christmas” sermon series. Jesus said, “I am the gate for the sheep” (John 10:7). This sudden appearance in the dark sky brings fear on the shepherds (I think we would have all jumped out of our skin at this appearance in the middle of the night). A brief formula for being a good pastor/elder is to say to the flock, “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:11). Christmas time is filled with tradition. However, before turning to these descriptions it will be beneficial to consider in the broadest terms what the focus of a leader of God’s people should be, and in specific how the poor leaders of Israel failed in this regard.The focus of a good shepherd was to be on his flock--their provision, guidance and safety. 2. A third reason human beings are compared to sheep in the Bible is that sheep are prone to wander away from the flock (Isaiah 53:6). For the few days, until it is able to walk, he may carry it in his arms or in the loose folds of … As Paul sat quietly in his metal chair, in the state issued orange jumpsuit, God grabbed a hold of his life and Paul gave his life to Christ. I’ve listened to it 3 times already. Remember, these were not guys people wanted to be around, yet it is this group of unpopular people that first come to see the Savior. The lowly men went quickly and shared what they heard with others. The message that this hated man heard is the message he proclaimed to others—just like the unpopular shepherds heard the message of hope and proclaimed it to others. Chances are good the story you chose to read from the Bible is Luke 2:1-20. From the idea of the shepherd as a protector and leader of the flock, came the concept of God as the Shepherd of Israel. The qualities that made Jesus the Good Shepherd are the same qualities that still characterize a worthy pastor/elder. Back in the fields outside Bethlehem the shepherds sit around discussing what they just witnessed. At just twenty-two years of age, Bob became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church. The shepherds leave the site where Jesus is, and return to the fields. No one would see a halo around his head as he walked through the streets, but his humility would serve as our example to follow today. There are no better teachers or models of leadership. Jesus, however, would later teach that he was the bread of life. Paul sat in his cell and spent most of his waking hours reading the Scriptures and growing in Christ. Shepherds in the Bible and in Art; Add this: Shepherds in the Bible and in Art by Steve Werlin. As you know, the shepherd image has a long history within the Bible. 2-4): a) They feed themselves (2) and horde riches instead of feeding the sheep. This resonated with Paul because he understood what literal bondage was but had no idea the impact of sin on eternal life. Can you remember where you were and who God sent your way to announce Jesus and invite you to follow him? Posted on April 8, 2011 | Comments Off on CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD SHEPHERD. Paul spent the hour-long interview answering questions. His crime and arrest made national news and was the talk of the country, because it was the largest tragedy in history at a public venue. The good shepherd knows his sheep because “the sheep listen to his voice. The angel then goes into detail about who Jesus is: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior (rescuer, redeemer, deliverer) who is Christ (Messiah, anointed one) the Lord (Master, ruler).” Packed into that one statement is rich theology. After Jesus’ resurrection, he passes th… When a soul is claimed for Him, when obvious sanctification happens? What does it mean to feed yourself? All rights reserved. This brings Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, because they are in the line of David. They were considered unclean and were not able to participate in temple worship. The Bible says that Jesus knew what was in men’s hearts. “I never thought this could happen in my town,” said the residents of this tiny southern town when they learned the news of the horrific crime. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Sheep are foolish I don’t know what sheep would score in an animal IQ, but I think they would be close to the bottom of the scale. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. Residents are to return to the city of their lineage. Finally, as human occupations go, shepherds are unique. The gentleman sharing the devotion that morning spoke about the good news. But one Saturday, Paul sensed the need to attend. That day, I wrote my prayer in the margin of my Bible in One Year: that I would shepherd the people with integrity of heart and lead them with skilful hands (Psalm 78:72). The shepherd solicitously guards the mother during her helpless moments and picks up the lamb and carries it to the fold. The setting is significant. Then, “when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:4). The characteristic of false shepherds (vv. The aba keeps the boy warm, is able to shed the rain, and at night is used as a blanket in which to wrap himself. The angel has good news (the gospel) which is great joy and is for all people. In biblical history, this image passes from God to his leaders as Moses, David and the elders here in the NT are referred to as shepherds. The good shepherd also protects his sheep. So what is a shepherd? It was the shepherd’s decision to go and to find the Savior. God dispatches an angel to this region of the world with a special announcement and invitation. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep" (Jon 10:12,13). This is what the shepherds were to look for in the city of Bethlehem. The massacre in the mall ten years earlier surpassed anything in prior history. Jacob so addressed God in the days just before his death . A good pastor takes time to listen to people, learns as many of their names as possible, and takes a keen interest in their everyday activities. Of course, the ultimate shepherd is Jesus. From the earliest days of David’s life until his final words to his son, Solomon, King David had a very significant place in history (1 Samuel 16; 1 Kings 2:1-11). He spoke in a vernacular common to that time. The gospel reaches into the lives of all people with a message of hope and salvation. With Jesus, there would be no hunger or thirsting. Kalos, the Greek word, translated “good,” describes that which is noble, wholesome, good, and beautiful. A sheep’s only chance of survival is with the flock under the care of a competent shepherd. The shepherd also carried a long staff. He was soon captured and taken into custody. As they come into the place where Jesus is, they communicate to all who are listening the message they heard from the angel out in the field, this is the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. The town was ecstatic when they heard of Paul’s life sentence. Many people did not buy what he was saying, even some in the Christian community did not believe him. Sign Up For Our Newsletter Third, I want to identify one more type of shepherd. Stop for a moment and let this idea impact your thinking. This causes Mary and Joseph to travel from Galilee to Bethlehem to be registered. The birth of offspring in a flock often occurs far off on the mountain side. 1. Maybe you were a young child or a teenager or a young adult when you heard the life changing message of the gospel. This message on Matthew 23 was preached at Littleton Bible Chapel on February 2, 2012. The gospel of John elaborates this theme by calling him the good shepherd. Bible Verses about Jesus Christ as Shepherd. In verse 10 the message comes from a singular unnamed angel and concludes with a host of angels giving praise to God for the peace he has provided to the earth through his Son. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. Many people say sheep are stupid. Shepherds may also dock, or cut off, the tails of young lambs. This is still my prayer today. Here are some characteristics of sheep and I think you will agree that it is very applicable to us! The Divine Shepherd of the Exodus. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10:12-13). The angel said the sign they were to look for that would identify the Savior, was a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, which was normal for any newborn at the time, placed in a manger, which was certainly not normal in that day. One clue in the context, a subtle hint, supports the opposite view of the legend. This announcement brings a host of angels in the night sky who bring God the praise and glory he rightly deserves because peace is the result of this joyful good news. The rod was a sturdy stick with a knob at one end. A truly remarkable book about the desert and shepherding imagery of the Bible. 1. However, in this study, we want to see the characteristics of a good shepherd and how we are in the role of a shepherd. It is written as 90-1-50. The shepherds heard and were impacted by the gospel—this group of people who were unpopular in society, seen as a criminal, and without a religious bone in their bodies. Time and again church members will say, “When I saw what the elders did, I was inspired and knew this was for real.”. So, maybe being placed in a feeding trough was fitting for the one who is the bread of life. Simon Peter encouraged elders to “be shepherds of God’s flock” [under their care so that] “when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4). The Bible sketches out in great detail what a good shepherd would look like both in the Psalms and in the words of Christ himself. God arranges a census to be taken in the land. …, The Map Maker: Discover Joyful, Spirit-filled Ministry by Making Disciples and Transforming the Marketplace, Book review: Morality — Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times, A 3-pronged response to the lawlessness of our age. But reread the Scripture at this moment and listen to the angel’s words. The shepherds decide very quickly to head into town to find the Savior. Just as fast as the angels appeared in the sky, they vanish from sight and the shepherds are plunged into darkness once again. The church senses that the good shepherd genuinely cares for them and puts their interest ahead of his own. 3. I never forgot the fact that he took the time to watch me play ball. While we do not know how many shepherds there were, the plural usage of the term helps us conclude there were multiple shepherds in the field. One can only imagine the faces of those present in the stable when the shepherds show up. This setting was not unusual for shepherds, but what is about to happen is something we still talk about to this day. Desert and Shepherd in Our Biblical Heritage – Nogah Hareuveni (1991). One of the keys to successful capital campaigns is for church leaders to make advance commitments and for that total to be revealed to the congregation. This sermon is part of the sermon series "The Characters of Christmas". Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. Out in the field’s shepherds are watching their flocks. Shepherds in ancient Israel likely worked with, among others, the broadtail Syrian variety of sheep, which have large fatty tails and a thick fleece. Biblical Portrayal of Shepherds. They make her ponder this wonderful moment as she looks into the face of her Savior, the Messiah. Unlike other animals that shed their hair in the spring, many breeds of sheep must be shorn – have their fleece cut off with shears or clippers. Most importantly, the good shepherd loves his sheep and sacrifices. When you look at the deeper meaning of a word, you can look at the total numerical value in different ways (I only use one). They seem to … As believers we must understand that the gospel reaches all people. Paul learned that a Savior had come to rescue him from the bondage of sin and redeem him from a life in sin. Simon Peter encouraged elders to “be shepherds of God’s flock” [under their care so that], “…when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4). Then the shepherds became the first missionaries of the gospel! Let’s look at their duties: 1. While they are there, the Son of God is born, just as prophesied in Scripture. Now think about the manger scene. In John 10:11, Jesus described himself as “the good shepherd.” That is an important distinction for church leaders to consider. That is your first and foremost responsibility – not feeding yourself. Since the seventh millennium B.C.E., humans have domesticated sheep and made use of their meat, milk, and wool. Paul’s crime had made national news. Amos 1:1). No one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. Back to Paul Rickenbacker who has served ten years of his life sentence. The beginning of the Messiah’s days on earth started in great humility, as he was placed in a feeding trough for animals. This brings Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, because they are in the line of David. The angel had told them who the baby was and how they could find him. A manger was a feeding trough for animals and served as a bed for the Savior to lay his newborn head. The first words from the angel’s mouth are to calm their fears. When arrested, Paul confessed to the crime and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole. As John 10:11 puts it, “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Christ demonstrated His love for us by dying for us while we were still sinners. Some of my friends pitched in with sermons, but this one from a South African church was BY FAR the best. Shearing the Flock. Jesus never coercesus; He invitesus to follow Him. As Isaiah 53 teaches, the Messiah did not come in the royalty he deserved. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. But consider this, God used that person at a precise time in your life to save your soul and to bring you peace. He is good. In the Gospels, Jesus Christ is described as the good shepherd. Luke tell us that it was night when the shepherds were watching their flocks in the fields. A strong sympathy for helpless animals, though sometimes misdirected, is a marked characteristic of the people of Bible lands. That is why integrity and consistency represent essential virtues for pastors. Copyright © 2021 Networld Media Group, LLC. “I am the good shepherd. Recently my husband and I heard a popular, famous preacher on the radio, who was preaching on Mathew 25:33 "...and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left." A local church has adopted the prison and they come to share God’s Word and be an encouragement for the inmates. Paul Rickenbacker had walked into the local mall and fatally wounded many of the townspeople. I propose 'shepherd-leadership'. In yesterday’s passage we saw how Paul said to the Ephesian elders, ‘Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Every week since that moment, Paul has been discipled by the man who gave the devotion that day, and his life has never been the same. A shepherd typically carried a few items with him to aid him in his task of caring for the sheep. You may wonder what is the character of sheep and why God chose to use sheep and goats as symbols for how we act. Why We Are Compared to Sheep in the Bible. Christ claims for Himself the title of the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14). Ministers inspire people to follow them whenever the people can trust their shepherd to guide them to green pastures. One author points out that, in the Bible, “the shepherd image is one of the few that is applied exclusively to leaders.” No fewer than eight times in the Old Testament, God is portrayed as the shepherd of his people. God was working behind the scenes to bring prophetic Scripture to fulfilment. Luke 2:18 says, “And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” They weren’t amazed that shepherds were telling them; they were amazed at the content of what the shepherds said. We should also understand that Jesus declares that he is the good shepherd thus making him God. Understands the needs of the sheep better than they do. John 10:10-16 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Paul did not know what to expect but what he heard changed his life. They wanted to interview Paul and learn more about that dreadful day. They know he cares. As John 10:11 puts it, “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Christ demonstrated His love for us by dying for us while we were still sinners. It was his father, Jessie the Bethlehemite, that was named by God as the person that Samuel should see to find the new King of Israel that … When the angels reported Jesus’ birth the shepherds immediately went to Him. My friend Wessel sent me this sermon a few days ago because I was looking for a good sermon on grace. This unpopular group of people is the first group to whom God announces the birth of his Son. Field ’ s shepherds are often thrust into a difficult assignment and expected to instinctively know how to.. The scenes to bring prophetic Scripture to fulfilment survival is with the viewing audience how Lord. Not for the sheep better than they do Hareuveni ( 1991 ) carried a few items with him aid. The Scriptures and growing in Christ sees the wolf coming, he passes th… Biblical of... 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