I AM The Good Shepherd
Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright.
Mary was pretty young, perhaps as young as 12-13 years old. No experience.
Mary and Josef was not in a sterile hospital with a number of nurses around.
King Herod was ruling the country at this time and he let his brutal soldiers kill every little boy child up to two years old they could find.
The soldiers big needle-sharp swords chop the little babies to pieces.
It was a horrible time and it was in the midst of this God became flesh.
It was not silent, it was not in peace.
In the fields around, shepherds were watching over their flocks, day and night. Same kind of routine, leading their sheep, keeping them safe,
watching over them, continuing to count. Run after a sheep that was lost.
I read somewere that shepherds were not treated with all the dignity and
respect many other professions had. In fact, it was above the lowest common denominator in the ancient world. Some said about shepherds, "you hope your daughter wouldn't marry one".
If something got missing, people used to say: Check with the shepherds they might "have" it.
To be a shepherd was, lonely, cold at night, not well paid and dirty.
One cold and lonely night in the midst of perhaps sleeping, counting sheep, feeling lonely, suddenly comes this explosive light, and it's an angel. The angel of the Lord appeared, and the Judean skies lit up.
Out of nowhere this angel makes an entrance. Apparently it took something pretty grand to get the shepherds attention.
Luke 2:8-20 (NTE)
_8 There were shepherds in that region, out in the open, keeping a night watch around their flock. 9 An angel of the Lord stood in front of them. The glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified._
_10 ‘Don’t be afraid,’ the angel said to them. ‘Look: I’ve got good news for you, news which will make everybody very happy. 11 Today a saviour has been born for you – the Messiah, the Lord! – in David’s town. 12 This will be the sign for you: you’ll find the baby wrapped up, and lying in a feeding-trough.’_
_13 Suddenly, with the angel, there was a crowd of the heavenly armies. They were praising God, saying,_
_14 ‘Glory to God in the highest,_
_and peace upon earth among those in his favour.’_
With this in mind, the facts of shepherds we read that in
John 10:11 Jesus says :"I am the good shepherd". The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep".
It is true. In those days the shepherd lived with his sheep. He knew them all. If he lost one, he instantly went to find the lost one.
He protected the sheep from thieves and wolves. His rod was a weapon.
As the shepherd spends all this time with the sheep, carrying them, sleeping close together, he started to smell like his sheep. The sheep knew him not only by his voice but by the smell of him.
Jesus used this analogy as a leader: He describes himself as not only “the shepherd,” but the “good shepherd.”
This is the kind of leadership Jesus used, a leadership that brought the scattered sheep together, a leadership that protected the herd, a leadership that calmed them down, a leadership that protected them.
Jesus is the good shepherd, let Him guide you.