Shepherds, Sheep, & The LAMB!
Luke 2:8-18 will be read by young man in church…
THAT NIGHT… it was shepherds that God chose to announce His Son’s birth to!
TODAY: is the first in a three part series I have titled, “A Christmas Focus… shepherds, sheep, & THE LAMB!
We will consider several things as we embark on this study...
We will look at God as our Shepherd
We will consider the sheep He came to bring Light to
We will Rejoice together over the Lamb of God who takes away our sin, & gives the greatest gift ever!
Christmas morning as we gather together as a family we will celebrate His birth together and remember Him together as we partake in communion.
God’s Heart to care for sheep… shepherds and sheep have been an ongoing image God has used from the beginning.
Shepherds were lowly in status… these were NOT the religious leaders, law makers, influential people in the world
Yet by God beginning with them the message was clear… this is a MESSIAH for ALL PEOPLE!!!
These shepherds were carefully caring for the sheep, most likely the ones used for the temple sacrifices in Jerusalem just about 5 miles away
As keepers of sheep, watchful, careful,
God would give them first the responsibility to be KEEPERS OF THE MESSAGE OF THE MESSIAH!
Shepherds still declare this message
Shepherds are still serving and caring for His sheep
These shepherds were willing to search for Jesus...
Shepherds would often need to search and find lost lambs
These were willing to look for Jesus… so many today are unwilling to look
Because like in their day… people don’t like what they find
Jesus is not what they expected or want
Before we look closer at the baby Jesus… I want us to consider God as our shepherd… the Psalmist David in Psalm 23
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
What an amazing picture of God David paints for us here...
In the word shepherd, David uses the most comprehensive and intimate metaphor yet encountered in the Psalms, preferring usually the more distant ‘king’ or ‘deliverer’, or the impersonal ‘rock’, ‘shield’, etc.; whereas the shepherd lives with his flock and is everything to it: guide, physician and protector
“MY SHEPHERD”… gives the inference that we belong to Him! We are His! as such He...
Feeds, cares, restores, guides,
His presence eliminates fear, comforts, enriches
The presence and protection of the shepherd God was very real and intimate to David
The Bible Knowledge Commentary (23:1)
The prophecy of the coming Messiah incorporated the same imagery of “shepherd”… (Isa. 40:11 ),
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
He is also called the “Great Shepherd” (Heb. 13:20) and “the Chief Shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4).
Because the Lord was David’s Shepherd, his needs were met and …
Jesus himself “God in the flesh” would identified Himself as that expected “Good Shepherd” John 10:1-18
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. “All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. “He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
The Good Shepherd
The Good Shepherd
Wow what a God that He would come in flesh… to shepherd His sheep…
Did you notice the I AM STATEMENTS…
I am the DOOR… passage to safety, security, life sustaining
I am LIFE… abundantly what care and passion
I am the good shepherd… Psalm 23 summarized in a word
I am willing to die “lay down life”
You see… God as a shepherd of His own is able and capable of being that perfect shepherd from His throne in heaven… YET!!!
He shows us He cares for us IN PERSON
He showed us the way IN PERSON
He showed us how to live IN PERSON
God would come IN PERSON (a baby) to show us IN PERSON
Because as sheep we were lost, and in need of a shepherd to SEARCH for us, find us lost in our sin, and DIE FOR US!
He did this in person, the Shepherd, would come for His sheep… more of that as we celebrate our candlelight service Christmas Eve at 5pm