Sparta Baptist Church

Advent Day 23

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“‘I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down,’ declares the Sovereign Lord.  ‘I will search for the lost and bring back the strays.  I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak…’”  Ezekiel 34:15-16

We’ve talked a little about why shepherds might have been the first to hear the news of Jesus’ birth, but we haven’t discussed one obvious reason.

Jesus is a shepherd, too.

He’s the Good Shepherd, the one of whom Micah 5:4 says, “He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord…”

You see, God had promised through Ezekiel to shepherd his people, and Jesus was sent to do it.  He came to seek those who were lost, to help those who were hurting, and to protect those who were weak because he has a shepherd’s heart.  Matthew 9:36 says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”  He hurt for them and longed to lead them.

He longs to lead us, too.  Just like the Israelites, we need a shepherd.  We need someone willing to find us when we stray, someone to guide us through life and TO life.

Revelation 7:17 says, “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.”

Don’t you love that?  The same Lamb that was sacrificed for us is the Shepherd who saves us.

Worship: Read John 10:11-18 and thank Jesus for being our Good Shepherd.  Thank him for laying down his life for us.

Family Focus: Take a minute and discuss with your kids what exactly a shepherd does.  Talk a little bit about sheep, how vulnerable they are to attack, and how easily they can be lost.  Discuss how we are like sheep who have gone astray and how Jesus is our shepherd.

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