Friday, March 18, 2016

Jesus the King: Part 1

Back in December, our church did an Advent series on Jesus as a prophet, as a priest, and as a king. I had the privilege of teaching about Jesus as King. We looked at three aspects of Jesus' kingship: shepherd, servant, and absolute ruler. This first post looks at Jesus as Shepherd.

For the rare person who may not know what a shepherd does, he takes care of the sheep. He watches nover them and feeds them. Ancient Near-Eastern peoples saw their rulers as shepherds. Sumerian kings were depicted as wearing a shepherd's hat and were recognized as the protectors of their people. The Hykso rulers were known as shepherd kings. In Psalm 23, David declares that God is the Shepherd. The Hebrews would have understood that David was also calling God the King.

Israel's human leaders, both kings and priests, were called shepherds. In Ezekiel 34:1-10, God calls the nation's leaders to account for being bad shepherds. In verses 11-16 of the same chapter, God says that he himself will be Israel's Shepherd. Jesus applies that to himself in John 10:14, when he says that he is the Good Shepherd, that all who came before him were thieves and robbers. Hebrews 13:20 calls Jesus the great Shepherd of the sheep, and 1 Peter 2:25 tells us that he is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. Like a shepherd, our King takes care of us. As David wrote, we lack nothing. He feeds us, protects us, and leads us. Sometimes he takes us into the valley, but we can have assurance that he is always with us and has gone that way before.

In this election season in particular, let us remember that there is no human ruler who can provide what we really need, no matter what they promise. Our Shepherd is the Creator of this universe. He is the true King.


KC Bob said...

Thanks so much for sharing Fred. Recently heard about the idea of Jesus being The Gate. The teacher said that it was a reference to shepherds who slept at the entrance to the sheep pen. Thus the shepherd protected the sheep from anything that would attempt entrance to the pen. So even when he slept the shepherd was protecting the sheep.

Fred Shope said...

That's good Bob! Speaks of the Shepherd's care 24/7.

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