The Good Shepherd Will Reign

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This is a Blogged Bible Study entry for John 10:

Before the Babylonian Captivity was complete (581 BC), Jeremiah spoke to the leaders of God’s chosen people:

The Lord says, The leaders of my people are sure to be judged. They were supposed to watch over my people like shepherds watch over their sheep. But they are causing my people to be destroyed and scattered.  So the Lord God of Israel has this to say about the leaders who are ruling over His people: “You have caused my people to be dispersed and driven into exile. You have not taken care of them. So I will punish you for the evil that you have done.  I, the Lord, affirm it!  ~Jeremiah 23:1-2

Eventually, Nebuchadnezzar razed Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed on the Ninth of Av.  After 70 years in captivity, God’s chosen people were allowed to return and began to rebuild the decimated temple.  By the time Jesus walked the earth (≈4BC-30AD), God’s chosen people were under a new ruler: Rome. 

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheepAll 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.

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.  ~John 10:7-16

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, in 70 AD on the Ninth of Av once more, Rome razed Jerusalem and the second temple era came to an end.  By 135 AD the last revolt was quelled and the Final Dispersion began. The Jews were dispersed to every quarter of the known world and remain so to this day.*

Jeremiah’s prophecy was not completely fulfilled.  Some of it has yet to happen.

Then I Myself will regather those of My people who are still alive from all the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their homeland. They will greatly increase in number. I will install rulers over them who will care for them. Then they will no longer need to fear or be terrified. None of them will turn up missing. I, the Lord, promise it!  ~Jeremiah 23:3-4

In 1948, by a UN vote, the world allowed the Jews (God’s chosen people) to return to their homeland.  Many are there, but they are not safe.  He promised they would be.  The Lord keeps all His promises.

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’”  ~Jeremiah 23:5-6

Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.   ~Ezekiel 34:23 (in this passage the Messiah is described as  David)

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.  ~Isaiah 9:6-7

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.  His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except HimselfHe is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.  From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

The Good Shepherd will come again to fulfill all He has promised.  Our God is a covenant keeping God.

*For further reading:  World History

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28 responses »

  1. Three views of a shepherd in John 10:
    1. Jesus is the shepherd who has a right to enter the sheep pen and calls his own sheep by name, out of several flocks kept in the overnight enclosure. His sheep know his voice, hear and follow him out to pasture.
    2. Now lets go to the pasture. Near the pasture is an enclosure for the sheep. The shepherd takes his place in the doorway or entrance and functions as a door or gate. The sheep can go out to the pasture in front of the enclosure, or if afraid, they can retreat into the security of the enclosure. The spiritual meaning is that Jesus is the only Gate by which people can enter into God’s provision for them.
    3. Jesus then developed the sheep/shepherd figure in a third way. When evening settled over the land of Palestine, danger lurked. In Bible times lions, wolves, jackals, panthers, leopards, bears, and hyenas were common in the countryside. He is the Good Shepherd in contrast to the religious leaders who were like the aforementioned wild animals who would devour the sheep.

    v. 25-26 speaks to the those who continued in their unbelief , a matter Jesus spoke of often and also speaks of God’s election:

    Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.

    vv. 27-29 are perhaps the strongest words in the NT concerning the believer’s assurance:

    “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

    People love the assurance verses but do not often pick up on the theme of election in vv25-26 . It is only His sheep who recognize his voice and follow.

  2. Love this Michelle!! love the history, and prophesy…it has definitely spurred some thing in me that I am going to look deeper at today..maybe some new revelation to my spirit…very awesome…I was just asking the Lord for a new direction this morning in my studies and he just gave me one while reading this post..I will explain more later…LOVE YOU! I am so glad I am a sheep who hears HIS voice!

  3. Amen, Dan. Thank you for sharing this. So much is being said in this chapter. I appreciate all that you’ve shared. 😉

    Thanks, Darla. The history is amazing and the prophesy yet to be fulfilled…wow! Love you, too!

    Amen, NonConformer, Jesus is the Great Sheperd! Praise Him!

  4. I was just reading in Jer. 23 yesterday, so thanks for the confirmation! Jeremiah is one of my favorite books, and I’ve found it sort of interesting that taking a chapter a day (starting in Joshua) from Jan. ’07 (where our discontinued mid-week Bible study left off), the days of September are lining up numerically with Jeremiah’s chapters. (Sounds like something ‘Love’ would find significant =).

    Anyway, I found Jeremiah 23 comforting, especially with your parallel reference to Jn. 10 (and re: your ‘broken heart’ post also). Yes, GOD is in control, and He will (and already does via Jesus) shepherd His people who hear His voice and follow Him!

    Listening for Him and thankful He’s speaking through you,
    D-

  5. Hey, Laz!

    It’s the greatest comfort I have to know He is in control and shepherds all who are His. I like being His follower.

    I went through Jeremiah as I studied the book, Lord, Heal My Hurts, many years ago. I “get” Jeremiah — I cry a LOT too. 😉

    Thanks for commenting, Laz. (and I’m sure Love would find much significance in that!)

    Nor, 😕

  6. Michelle… WOW…. WOW…WOW…

    So much good information. I love how you pull the prophesy of him being our Shepard into it. He will call us home and we will know his voice.

    Love this, Love you.

  7. Sorry for the short comment… 😕

    …things have just gotten a little weird up here lately.

  8. Thanks, Carl. I’m a bit of a prophecy buff. 😳

    He will call us — I’m so ready.

    Yeah, Scott! So glad you’ve joined us. 😀

    It’s OK Nor, I know life can get in the way. 😉

  9. It always comforts me to know that I belong to Him. That He chose me. He didn’t have to but He loved me enough to not want me to perish. I am so thankful that I belong in His herd and that I am able to hear His voice. Praise God. Even in my humanness, falling short, falling and picking myself up over and over again, He loves me and finds me worthy enough to come after even if it means leaving the other sheep behind. That’s what I love about the Lord. He doesn’t measure our worthiness like the world does. I want to be a shepherd like Him in the sense that I’m not trying to impress the crowd and I’m willing to walk away from “thousands of potentials” to bring “one definite” to His kingdom.

    I love you Sis. I am so thankful for you in my life. You display God’s grace and love towards me, daily, without ever hesitating. If I’ve never said it before, thank you. Thank you for being my sister, my friend, for putting up with me when I wasn’t worth putting up with, for loving me when I wasn’t worth loving, and for forgiving me when I wasn’t worthy of your forgiveness.

  10. “That He chose me. He didn’t have to but He loved me enough to not want me to perish.”

    That’s an interesting and thought provoking comment, since in this chapter Jesus told some folks their unbelief was because they were not His sheep.

    Who does God choose and why does He choose whom He chooses?

    If we believe John 6:37- 40, (for starters), it says that there is a number (God only knows) that He is gives to the Son and none of them would ever be lost. The act of giving implies choosing by God. If all who are given come, and all are not saved, it implies that God only chooses some, or all would be saved.

    So in just a few verses we have assurance that if we are His, we will remain His and will not lose our salvation and the very strong inference of God’s choosing some for salvation, but not others.

    Thoughts?

  11. Good morning Princess! just wanted to pop in and tell you I love you, and can’t wait to read that next post you are brewing on…just saying.. 😉

  12. You know…with just about the whole world falling apart right before our very eyes, it really is kind of nice to have a Good Shepherd.

    Thanks for reminder, Sis. 😉

  13. I am reappearing with a blog focus. It’s me… deleter of blogs. 🙂 But this time, i’m not using my name. for now. Just didn’t want to lose contact with you.

  14. Amen, Dan. Thoughts? I think you’ve said it. 😉

    Hey, Darla!!! Have a good day. 😀

    Amen, Nor. I just wish He’d come soon. 😕

    iambipolar2…I’ll find you. Glad to see you here. We won’t lose contact. 😉

  15. My gracious, Gch, you are so kind. Thank you for those words, you warmed my heart.

    I’m so thankful too, that He doesn’t leave us to stray far from Him. He will continue to pursue us, to bring us back into the fold. He is our ever gracious, loving Shepherd. To be able to show a bit of that to others, what a privilege.

    Love you and continuing to pray for all your needs. 😉

  16. Ok, ok. THIS was the blog you wanted me to read. I’m sure of it.

    Michelle – I know I seem to say this every time … but … my spirit gets SO excited with what comes out of your mouth. MAybe because it’s all Scripture … but really …. wow.

    So when I read this … If I knew a Jewish jubilation dance, I would have got up and danced it. I shouted. Clapped my hands. Burst out in tongues. Whew. Amen.

    Ok. Post. AMEN!!! Yes!! Gol, there is SO much I could say. My fingers are trembling. The passages in Jeremiah – very harsh (and there are multiple passages) towards the shepherds. I hear it. “You who say to the daughter of my people ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace.” I hear those words, and my soul weeps. The people are in need. They are in need of true shalom, and those who are positioned and required of God to give it turn their backs; offer gruel to eat and rags to wear; they say to the people, ‘be warmed, be filled.’ And the people go hungry. Naked. Poor. Blind. Wretched. I’m crying. I hear it.

    “I am the door.” Wow, I saw this too. He says all must enter through the door, and any that enter through another way are thieves and robbers. So … the true prophets of old, actually (though they didn’t know it) entered through the identity of Jesus, even though He had yet to come. And any that come after must come through the door that is Jesus Christ. I know Jesus said, “All who came before,” but I’m puzzling over that, because we know, for instance that Isaiah wasn’t a thief and a robber. Elijah wasn’t. Jesus was prophesied to come “in the spirit of Elijah” – so I know there is a bit more to this than just “all before are thieves and robbers.” My own thoughts there.

    Jeremiah 23: “I will regather My people …” Ah, it makes me want to dance. He is, He is! The scattered sheep are being gathered. The Lord fulfills His word, and it is cause for GREAT JOY.

    Whew. I can’t add anything. I LOVE THIS. (And I love you too!)

    PS: can I be your sister or something?

  17. YES!! Annie, you found it! I knew when I was writing it you were gonna love it!

    Yes, there are multiple passages against the shepherds of Israel and I think that’s what Jesus meant when He said “all.” In context He is talking about the shepherds, the rulers, the guardians of the sheep. Obviously, not Moses and David, the prophets and spiritual leaders who showed them the ways of God. But the unqualified, all those who scattered and destroyed, were thieves and robbers. The ones we can read about in Ezekiel 34 and Isaiah 1 and 56.

    Some say it is referring to all the false messiahs who had risen up from time to time. We do know many of the leaders of Judaism were more concerned about their position and power than the flock.

    That’s what I was thinking as I read this. I’m starting a study in Isaiah and the first couple of chapters are amazing!

    Yes!! You can be my sister — you ARE my sister!! Love you too!! 😉

  18. “You who say to the daughter of my people ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace.” I hear those words, and my soul weeps. The people are in need. They are in need of true shalom, and those who are positioned and required of God to give it turn their backs; offer gruel to eat and rags to wear; they say to the people, ‘be warmed, be filled.’ And the people go hungry. Naked. Poor. Blind. Wretched. I’m crying. I hear it.

    Annie, you spoke my heart here. I have been standing in the gap for Israel many years now and am so thankful to find someone else who feels the same. We need to be in prayer, standing firm. The outrageous words and anit-semitic rants of the leader of Iran are not even being questioned by so many. He’s denied the Holocaust and determines Israel should be wiped off the map. Then he’s sitting down with Larry King being asked about his children???

    He stated at the UN:
    “Today, the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters,” he said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

    We’re confused about our economy, watching our portfolios, while a madman is being welcomed among us?!?!?

    OK…end rant…

    We really need to be praying for the peace of Jerusalem.

    Today is the start of Rosh HaShanah — The Feast of Trumpets!!

    Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come.

    Love you, Annie!

  19. OK.. I have made it late to this party.

    Michelle thank you for being you and posting in this wonderful style. You highlight and hit the right points every time.

    Peace and love sister.

  20. Rosh HaShanah! I forgot! Jewish New Year. Yes, it always falls close to my birthday. 🙂

    Yes, yes … So many things are completely backwards and upside down. I do take comfort in the fact that some things must be … but the end is still to come. Those things that don’t have to happen … we pray our socks off. I PRAY that our nation stands in support of Israel. In some ways, I feel like this is our only hope going into these times of trial. We shall see. I don’t know the future. But God is good.

  21. Annie- I am praying that our country will stay in support of Isreal, and I also believe that is our only hope to stay on the side of God. The scripture is so clear..if anyone will reprimand Isreal it will be God and only God…I love HIS faithfulness in our unfaithful world. It really stirs my heart!

    Good afternoon Michelle, LOVE YOU!

  22. How old are you, Annie? Have you hit 30 yet?

    Amen…to pray for the peace of Jerusalem…we need to be praying our nation will continue to stand in support of Israel.

    I agree, Darla. I’m so thankful He is in control…He is good…He is faithful.

    Love you two…Have a good day today!

    Shalom

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