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Posts tagged ‘Shepherd’

10. 12 Days to Christmas – Messiah’s Rejection

10. Partake – Twelve Days to Christmas – Messiah’s Rejection

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Please do read Zechariah 11:1-17

So far in our journey we have seen that the future is glory for the Servant Messiah and all those who choose to follow Him! It is a future of hope, joy, excitement, awe, wonderment and glory. But that is only one side of the future. In Zechariah 11, we come to another part of the future; the part of the future which is for all those who would reject God’s Servant Messiah. While Zechariah talks in picture language and symbols, the overall message is startlingly clear: those who reject the Messiah, will in the future be rejected by Him! But we are not given the full details here, but rather are told the why it will happen.

Judgment is coming

Here in Zechariah 11:1-3 we see this judgement coming. The strong barriers of the door are removed! There are no barriers strong enough to escape the judgment of God Almighty. Fire will destroy the mighty cedar trees (Zechariah 11:1), tall pines will fall wantonly (Zechariah 11:2) and fertile land will be decimated as will the places where lions inhabit (Zechariah 11:3). Why are the shepherds crying out in dismay and angst? Not for the land, the trees and animals! No! They were crying out in anguish because of their loss of income! They were too busy ripping off those the people they were meant to lead, rather than leading the people rightly and righteously. They were leaders only for what they could get out of the position they held. They were corrupt, deceitful and arrogant. How were the mighty cedars destroyed and barriers broken down? History tells us that the Roman Empire swept through Lebanon, subduing the entire Lebanese leadership & independent authority under its mighty power.

The Good Shepherd

Now in Zechariah 11:4-14 we see God offering one last opportunity for the leaders of Israel to obey Almighty God. The leaders of Israel were not looking after the people. Instead they were abandoning them and looking only after themselves. These leaders, or shepherds, as they are referred to here were selling their own people into slavery of other nations and getting very rich because of it (Zechariah 11:5)! It was the height of hypocrisy because they were even praising God for their wealth achieved by disobedience, deceit and lust for money.

Zechariah is asked now to play a role – representing the Shepherd Messiah feeding the sheep (Zechariah 11:4). God issues judgment against the people of Israel, particularly the leaders, and will hand them over to their neighbours. Since the leaders showed neither pity nor mercy, neither shall God show mercy or pity on them (Zechariah 11:6).

Zechariah continues his role as the Good Shepherd, performing much the same way the Shepherd Messiah will do, when He comes. He tends to caring for the lost, oppressed, poor and afflicted. Just as we have seen earlier that the Shepherd Messiah will do. Now Zechariah takes too staffs, naming one ‘Favour’ and the other ‘Union’ (Zechariah 11:7). As part of his work, three of the false leaders or shepherds are disposed off within one month. These leaders could have been kings, priests or prophets. Disposed off, because when the Shepherd Messiah comes, He will be as we have seen a Messiah King, Messiah Priest and Messiah Prophet, all simultaneously.

But now, in Zechariah 11:8, Zechariah as the Good Shepherd is rejected! The same way that the Shepherd Messiah will be rejected as we saw in Isaiah 53.

Good Shepherd Judges

Eventually Zechariah the Good Shepherd tires of the people’s disobedience and recalcitrant attitudes and behaviour. In Zechariah 11:9-11, he says “I will not feed you. That which dies, let it die; and that which is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let those who are left eat each other’s flesh.” I took my staff Favor, and cut it apart, that I might break my covenant that I had made with all the peoples. It was broken in that day; and thus the poor of the flock that listened to me knew that it was the word of Yahweh.” So because of the leadership’s disobedience and self-righteousness, God is stopping the covenant between them and this is symbolized by breaking the staff called ‘Favour’. God has always kept His word and was always faithful in keeping His covenants with people and Israel. But because of the Israel’s disobedience the covenant was now void and invalid. The Good Shepherd is rejected.

The Foolish Shepherd.

Now Zechariah is to play a foolish Shepherd. This foolish Shepherd has no time for people who are lost, oppressed, poor and afflicted. He is only interested in himself and his own gain. He will not look out for the sick in order to heal them or feed those who are hungry. This foolish Shepherd is the contrast of Zechariah as the Good Shepherd and of the Shepherd Messiah to come. What is the judgement upon this Foolish Shepherd? His power will be taken away and his intelligence dimmed. The staff, called ‘Union’, is broken in order to symbolize the break up of the nation of Israel into north and south.

Where is Jesus the Messiah in here?

Jesus was offended and dismayed by the behaviour of, and the active disobedience by, the leaders of Israel. He frequently told the Pharisees, Priests and other leaders that they were oppressing the poor, didn’t care for the lost, neglected orphans and widows. For example, Matthew 12:34 You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Or Matthew 15:3, where Jesus speaks to the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, saying “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” Yes, Jesus spent time judging and condemning the leaders of Israel for their selfishness, deceit and dishonesty.

In contrast to the Pharisees and other religious leaders, Jesus as the Good Shepherd, did seek the lost, the orphans, widows and oppressed. He desired to spend time with them, having compassion upon them. He healed the sick, fed the masses, gave wise counsel and proclaimed love to those who were the unloved of society. Jesus when he looked over the crowds, commented that they were like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9v36).

Jesus said in John 10v10, that He gives His life that all those who follow Him, will have it more abundantly. Jesus as the Great Shepherd came to earth in order to bring sheep back into the fold; that is to bring people back into a full relationship with God. Jesus here in John 10, is looking ahead to His death on the cross as a means of facilitating the way for people to come back into a living relationship with God. Jesus fed people, but not only physically, but spiritually! Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Shepherd Messiah as enacted by Zechariah.

Jesus the Shepherd Messiah was rejected! Rejected by the leaders of Israel, who accused him of being demon-possessed. Rejected as He hung on a cross for the sins of the world. Rejected because of who He was – the Shepherd Messiah, the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for his sheep, the people of the world. Jesus, the Shepherd Messiah who is also priest, prophet and prince. Priest because He mediates between humanity and God the Father. Prophet because He spoke forth God’s word. Prince, because He is a King Messiah and is the Prince of Peace.

This Jesus, who through the Holy Spirit, beckons people to come back into relationship with God. Just as a shepherd cares for sheep and seeks any that are lost, so too does Jesus seek out those who are lost and still reject Him. One day it will be too late, and if Jesus is rejected in this life, then in the judgement to come, He will reject all those who reject Him now.

Thank you.

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Day 8. Twelve Days to Christmas – Messiah’s Promise

8. Partake – Twelve Days to Christmas – Messiah’s Promise

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Please do read Isaiah 54:1-17

God fulfills every promise He has made!

You may recall back on Day 4 in Isaiah 52, Isaiah started talking about a great homecoming for all those who believed. Then on our Day 5, Isaiah gave a picture regarding the sacrificial suffering of the Messiah Servant. Now in Isaiah 54, we see the reason for the suffering. We see that because of this coming Messah’s suffering and subsequent exultation and vindication, that God will make a New Covenant with all the peoples of the world!

God has always kept the promises He made with people! Promises to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David were also kept by God! God is ever faithful and always true to His word! And here God reminds them through Isaiah of three promises or covenants He has made: Abraham, Moses and Noah.

Past – Covenant with Abraham!

Here in Isaiah 54:1-3 God reminds the people through Isaiah, that God has always kept His promises to His people! If they looked back at the covenant promises made to Abraham, they would see this (Genesis 12:1-3)! When they go into exile, keep hold of the promises of God and be obedient to Him! God is always faithful and wants their total obedience to Him!

How are these verses of Isaiah 54:1-3, are meant to be a reminder of the covenant with Abraham? The mention of the barren woman (1), tent (2) and descendants (3) would all bring to mind God’s promises to Abraham… The barren woman, would be a reminder that Abraham and Sarah were aged and childless. The tent would act as a reminder that Abraham was a tent-dweller in an alien land. The descendants would remember that they themselves are descendants from Abraham! And God has promised in 54:3 that they will return to the land of Abraham and populate there once more.

The Abrahamic covenant is a link to all of God’s activities and programs until the end of time, when Jesus returns to gather His people to Himself. That is how important it was, particularly to Israel! The covenant had aspects for Abraham personally, as well as aspects that applied to all nations.

Past – Covenant with Moses

Now in Isiaah 54:4-8, God moves to the covenant He made with Moses (Exodus 19v5-8). When as a young nation, Israel was in exile and slavery in Egypt – it was an embarrassment to her. Now as a nation she was like an aged widow, she was due to be in exile again, but in Babylon this time. But just as God made the covenant with Israel on Mount Sinai after escaping from Egypt, so too would God restore her to Himself once again and be her husband and Redeemer.

The covenant with Moses begins with a stipulation “Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me.” (Exodus 19v5). This covenant was to Israel in order that those who believed God’s promise to Abraham would know how to live righteously and obediently.

Past – Covenant with Noah!

Next God talks about his promise to Noah (Genesis 9v1-19)! Now instead of just a covenant with Israel, this is a covenant with the whole world! After the flood, Noah and his descendants spread throughout the world, bringing new life and God’s blessing to all parts. The flood is symbolic of the coming period that Israel will spend in exile, and all of the people of Israel are likened to the family of Noah and their descendants. God will protect them in exile, just as He did Noah and his family through the flood.

God has always kept his promises to Israel! But Israel has not always been faithful!

Future – Promised New City

Now the Lord talks about the future – the now but not yet. A great city is built to house all those who are God’s people as a reward for their obedient faithfulness despite trials, sufferings and persecution! Here Isaiah links also to the coming Messiah! Remember the Messiah was also a Disciple taught by God (Isaiah 50:4), then so were they (54:13)! Just has He had suffered (Isaiah 53:4), so have they (Isaiah 54:11)! Just as He was justified (Isaiah 50:8), so would they be (Isaiah 54:17). Those who serve God Almighty with faithful obedience will share in the sufferings of the Messiah King but also participate in His glory, because they are His children. Because of the Messiah Servant’s sacrificial suffering they will be able to live in the city of God forever! God is going to make a new Covenant with people – and He can be trusted to keep His promises!

How is Jesus this Messiah?

Both the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel talk about the promise of this New Covenant that God will have with all of humanity. What is this New Covenant that God is making?

Four features of this covenant are:

• Regeneration -God will write His law on the hearts of people. (Jeremiah 31v33) • Restoration – God will be their God, and they will be God’s people. (Jeremiah 31v33) • Promised Holy Spirit – God will indwell people and they will be led by Him (Jeremiah 31v 34) • Justification – Sins will be forgiven and removed eternally (Jeremiah 31v34)

What does all this have to do with Jesus? This New Covenant is sealed only through the perfect sacrifice of the God-Man Jesus on the cross as spoken of in Isaiah 53:1-12. His blood ensures the truth of this New Covenant. His death pays the penalty for the sins of all people who say yes to God and His New Covenant. This New Covenant is contrasted with the Old Covenant or the Mosaic covenant (Jeremiah 31v32; Hebrews 8v6-13) because this New Covenant finalizes what the Mosaic Covenant could only point to: the follower of God living in a righteous life conforming to God’s holy character. In this way, Jesus is also the redeemer of the Church and the redeemer mentioned in Isaiah 54:5 & Isaiah 54:7! He is the redeemer spoken about by Job (Job 19:25)!

Relationship!

Jesus Christ is the head of the church! The church is married to Jesus Christ and is frequently described as a bride! Just as the people of Israel were in Isaiah 54! How are the church linked to Jesus Christ?

The Church is the Body of Christ – it is a living organism and not merely an organization (Ephesians 1v22, 23; 4v15-16). We are all baptized into one body (1 Corinthians 12v13) and this body is made up of many parts or believers. Each believer has a vitally necessary and important function (Ephesians 4v15; 1 Corinthians 12v13).

The Church is the Bride of Christ – which suggests the purity, holiness and faithfulness of God’s people. Furthermore it suggests the great love that Jesus Christ has for His Church, the Bride (Ephesians 5v25-32; 2 Corinthians 11v2; Rev 19v7.22v17)

The Church is the Temple of Christ – Christ is building a spiritual temple with Himself as the Cornerstone or foundation. As Christian Disciples we are living stones and God dwells within the temple, filling it with all His fullness (Ephesians 2v22; 1 Peter 2v5)

God keeps His promises – Jesus is proof of that!

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Day 7. 12 Days to Christmas – Messiah’s Leadership

Day 7. Partake – Twelve Days to Christmas – Messiah’s Leadership – Zechariah 10:1 – 5

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10:1 Ask of Yahweh rain in the spring time, Yahweh who makes storm clouds, and he gives rain showers to everyone for the plants in the field.
10:2 For the teraphim have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie; and they have told false dreams. They comfort in vain. Therefore they go their way like sheep. They are oppressed, because there is no shepherd.
10:3 My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the male goats; For Yahweh of Armies has visited his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as his majestic horse in the battle.
10:4 From him will come forth the cornerstone, from him the nail, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler together.
10:5 They shall be as mighty men, treading down muddy streets in the battle; and they shall fight, because Yahweh is with them; and the riders on horses will be confounded.

During the time of Zechariah, the Temple was being rebuilt. The Temple was central to Jewish worship. But who would help give advice and solve the multitude of problems they were facing? Who cared about them? Well, Zechariah speaks into their situation with wise words. He has already likened the nation of Israel as being like sheep, and that God is their shepherd (Zechariah 9:16) “Yahweh their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they are like the jewels of a crown, lifted on high over his land. “. Throughout Chapter 10, it is repeated again and again, that God will care for and bless them. But in order to receive the blessing and care, the nation of Israelites must seek, turn and follow.

Seek God

If the people need advice and help in times of trouble and need, the first place they should look, is to the Lord their God. They must seek and ask of Him! (10:1)! God can provide all things! He can control the weather, but these people need to stop being so independent, self-sufficient and start to rely on God and His infinite wisdom and resources.

Turn to God

In 10:2, Zechariah reminds the people of Israel, that following idols and false gods is foolishness. These idols are self-seeking, liars and deceivers. Israel needed to turn back to the One True Almighty God! Instead of following the glory of the Almighty God, they were turning to idols for worship, advice and listening to superstitious nonsense. And of course idols and false gods are mute! They cannot speak or give advice because they are not Gods at all!! The sin of idolatry particularly broke the second commandment! The people were to turn away from false gods and return to worship the One True Almighty God.

They were also to listen to the true prophets of God instead of the false prophets who deceived by speaking words they wanted to hear.

Follow Me

These sheep, the nation of Israel were to follow God. Instead of wandering around aimlessly, they were to follow and obey God Almighty. The Jewish leaders and teachers were supposed to be leading the nation in worship of Almighty God, but were not doing so. Hence God in 10:3 being enraged at those who were in positions of trust who were deceivers, liars and only looking out for their own interests. Ezekiel 34 expounds this out in much further detail! So who were the people of Israel to follow? They were to follow the coming Messiah. Not only was the Messiah a King, Prophet Servant and Disciple but He would also be a Shepherd: the Good Shepherd! From the lowliest tribe of Judah, will come this Good Shepherd “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, being small among the clans of Judah, out of you one will come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

Messiah Cares

This Good Shepherd will be utterly reliable, responsible, faithful and being the sure foundation that the people of Israel need, particularly in a time of crisis. In 10:4 God will send this Good Shepherd to also be a cornerstone, nail or tent peg, battle bow and a source of all ruling authority.

Cornerstone: all ancient buildings needed a chief cornerstone to ensure a sure foundation so that the building could not fall down easily. It held two walls together. The imagery fits in well with the building of the Temple. If you want to continue worshipping God, then you must get the foundations right. The chief cornerstone of the building holds the building together. Not only that, it gives the building shape, strength and all other stones are adjusted by it.

Nail: Another translation is that of tent-peg. Just as the chief cornerstone holds the building together, so does a tent-peg ensure that the tent stays fastened down during storms! This Good Shepherd would ensure that everything is held together if they stick to Him.

Battle-bow: Probably referring back to 9:13, Zechariah now likens this Messiah Shepherd to a battle-bow! This Good Shepherd will fight to keep the wolves from harming His sheep. He will battle for them. This Good Shepherd will be brave, courageous and strong as he leads his people to victory!

How is Jesus this Messiah?

Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.” In other words, ask of God your heavenly Father and your needs will be supplied! That was how Jesus lived and obeyed, by being in constant communication with God the Father. That is how he could live a life of utter obedience to God, because He always asked, sought and knocked.

And Jesus is the Good Shepherd, hence Him saying in John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Again in John 10:14-17 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I’m known by my own; even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. 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. They will become one flock with one shepherd. Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd only through the sacrifice he must make for His sheep. Here Jesus is looking ahead to the sacrifice He makes on the Cross. His love for all of humanity compels Him to make the ultimate sacrifice. Just as all shepherds will endanger themselves for the safety of their sheep, so too will Jesus endure the pain and suffering of the Cross, so that people can be led into safety of God’s kingdom. It is in this role of the Good Shepherd, that Jesus exhibits true leadership, which is self-less and sacrificial. Ezekiel 34:11 tells of God searching out for his sheep among all nations, and this is fulfilled through Jesus. Through His perfect, obedient and voluntary sacrifice on the Cross, not only will salvation be available to the Jews but also to those of other nations.

And Jesus is willing to fight for His people! He gives spiritual armour for all those who follow Him to wear. Christians are in a spiritual battle reminds Paul in Ephesians 6, and as the Good Shepherd, Jesus will fight and battle for us through His indwelling Holy Spirit! For as the Bible says in 1 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.

Jesus Christ is, as Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 2:8, the Cornerstone of faith – referring back to Isaiah 8:14. Jesus Christ is the dependable, sure foundation that all faith is to be ground upon. All Christians are living stones, but should be living on the dependability of Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone alone! It is only Him, who can give direction, assurance and be relied upon. It is Him that calls all people everywhere to seek for, turn to and follow obediently.

Jesus Christ, Servant King, Servant Prophet, Servant Disciple, Servant Shepherd. Follow Him as the great leader He is and victory is assured! Whatever you are struggling with today, turn it over to God and ask for His help! He has promised to help! Remember that the battle belongs to the Lord! Amen! Just as Jesus said to Peter in John 21:19 “Follow Me!“, so Jesus calls all those willing to follow Him, to follow Him for life. Follow and be led by Him and Him alone, regardless of what and where that might be.

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WISE – Shepherd

Partake WISE – Shepherd

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What is a Shepherd

A shepherd is somebody who leads, teaches and cares for people. Are not all Christians commanded to lead people back to God and also help others along the way? That is the role of a shepherd. Of course the prime example of a Shepherd is that of Jesus Christ – the Great Shepherd.

How God and Jesus are Shepherds

In Psalm 23, we see that God is our shepherd. The quality, characteristics and activities of God Himself, are those of a shepherd. Jesus Christ said in John 10v10, that He gives His life that all those who follow Him, will have it more abundantly. Jesus as the Great Shepherd came to earth in order to bring sheep back into the fold; that is to bring people back into a full relationship with God. Jesus here in John 10, is looking ahead to His death on the cross as a means of facilitating the way for people to come back into a living relationship with God. The focus in Hebrews 13v20-21 is on the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, working in you, to produce that which is well pleasing in His sight. All Christians are like shepherds, being moulded by the Holy Spirit.

How are you to be a shepherd?

Nurture (Psalm 78v72 & John 21v15-17). Jesus is always concerned for the welfare of the weak, the small and the young. If you love and follow Jesus, you also should be concerned to care for the weak, oppressed and poor.

Feeding & nourishing (John 21v16-17). This means to tend, manage, and govern people, feeding and nourishing them. As a shepherd, you are to be interested in the care and welfare of others, both physically and spiritually.

Protects (Acts 20v28-29). The job of a shepherd is also to be watchful (Proverb 27v23). This means to be alert, quick to respond and care for people who may well be going through physical or spiritual dangers unaware.

Cares for Needy (Ezekiel 34v4). Prominent in biblical shepherding is caring for the weak and healing the wounded. The Great Shepherd retrieves rather than abandons. He restores rather than rejects. You, and I, are to do likewise.

As you are to be Jesus to people, you are to be their shepherd. The shepherd highlights a care for God’s people. The shepherd persistently obeys God, wisely using available resources to accomplish God’s purposes and to carefully nurture the people God has provided. This nurturing could be by leading them into faith by evangelism. If they are already a Christian, it is leading them through a life of faith by discipling. When you give care to the poor, needy and oppressed, you are sheperding, just as God does. His concerns are to be your concerns. May it be so, for by doing this, Christianity can make a difference, in a world which is seeking to kill the Great Shepherd by making Him an irrelevance. This Christmas, be a shepherd, just as Jesus was and is a Shepherd.

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Develops Shepherding

50. Partake – The Christian Disciple Develops as a Shepherd

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” Hebrews 13v20-21

All Christian Disciple are to be shepherds, and even more so because you lead people! Leading God’s people means you have the responsibility to shepherd. All the characteristics of the Christian leader relate to God, His purposes and His people. Though these fundamentals overlap, they do focus on a particular aspect of leadership.

  • The servant spotlights obedience to God’s person
  • The steward emphasizes faithfulness to God’s mission, message and people.
  • The shepherd highlights a care for God’s people.

The skilful mature Christian leader persistently obeys God, wisely uses available resources to accomplish God’s purposes and carefully nurtures the people God has provided. These three leadership roles should function harmoniously to produce distinctive biblical leadership.

1. Definition of a Shepherd Leader

A shepherd is charged with religious care and guidance of others. Hebrew ARAAH & Greek POIMENO both translate as the one who pastures and tends domestic animals. It is figurative for one who leads, teaches and cares for people.

Scriptural Examples

  • Psalm 23 – God is our shepherd. Leadership basically should find itself in the person and quality characteristics and activities of God Himself, for He is our leader.
  • John 10v10 – Christ gives His life that we might have it more abundantly. Its focus is on the abundant life of that sheep.
  • Hebrews 13v20-21 – the focus is on the good shepherd working in you, producing that which is well pleasing in His sight. All Christian Disciples are under-shepherds, moulded by the Holy Spirit, overseers of the flock of God.
  • Psalm 78v70-72 – The concept throughout the Bible of leading God’s people is the concept of a shepherd.

The Shepherd’s responsibilities are to guide, nurture, protect and care. Shepherd leadership involves influence, motivating, modelling, counselling, exhorting and disciplining. The shepherd leads as a servant.

2. The Example of Peter

1 Peter 5 shows us how Peter leads leaders through both his relationship with, & leadership of the church elders.

His relationship – He establishes an equal relationship with these elders. This is the key in leadership. We must have a more than a vertical relationship; we must also establish a horizontal one. We are sheep, just as they are sheep. Here Peter is accepting these people as equals and he is showing them respect for their maturity, experience and gifts.

His Leadership Style – He says I exhort and beseech. I appeal to you elders (1 Peter 5v1).

i. (1 Peter 5v2) from a position of exhortation to a position of teaching them. He is teaching them the simple basic truths of shepherd leadership. He says you take the leadership and this is how to do it.

  • Not by constraint, not because you have to, but because you are willing.
  • Not for filthy lucre but have a ready mind. Be ready to serve not for gain (Job 7v2)
  • Neither as lords over God’s heritage but as examples to the flock.

Peter as he exhorted and as he taught was choosing to influence their minds and then their wills and return their actions. He was modelling the type of leadership shepherd they should have.

ii. (1 Peter 5v4) He is motivating them towards the chief shepherd, Jesus Christ and toward the eternal reward, to do and to give your life for that which is of eternal value. The only things in eternity are going to be people and that is why shepherd leadership is so important. These people are of eternal value!

3. Characteristics of Shepherd Leader

Nurture (Psalm 78v72 & John 21v15-17). Jesus is concerned for the weak, the small and the young. He is concerned for their welfare, not primarily for how much wool, meat, milk or reproduction we are going to get out of them but he is concerned for their welfare. Only if you love me, will you be concerned for them and care for them.

Feeding & nourishing (John 21v16-17) – means to tend, manage, and govern the flock, feeding and nourishing them. The dual role of the shepherd, he is to manage govern, lead and to guide. He is also to feed them with the Word and nourish them. The person that the sheep respond to is the person who is interested in them. The person who is interested in the care and welfare of the sheep, is also the one ministering to their soul.

Protect (Acts 20v28-29). The job of a shepherd is to be watchful (Proverb 27v23). The word overseer means to look carefully into and to inspect. We must have a great sense of whose sheep they are; they are God’s sheep. God is watching me to see how I am taking care of His people.

Care for Needs (Ezekiel 34v4). Prominent in biblical shepherding is caring for the weak and healing the wounded. The biblical shepherd retrieves rather than abandons, He restores rather than rejects. The needs are so great and we are so limited, that is the big problem. (Acts 3v6).

4. Limits of Shepherding

  • The shepherd leader is one who oversees the needs and development of God’s sheep.
  • The area of ability – we don’t have the capacity to help everybody but what I have, I can give.
  • The receptivity of people – go where they are receptive.
  • I may have prior God given responsibility.

5. The Key to Shepherd Leadership

The question is not what I can get out of it, but what I can give? Leadership is always a situation. A leader must have followers, and must be prepared to be led. A leader must assume authority, and submit to authority.

For more to think about please do ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Read Proverbs 27v23. What does this Proverb have to do with my Christian discipleship?

Q2. Read Hebrews 13v20-21. How is the Holy Spirit shaping my shepherding skills?

Q3. Read Ezekiel 34v4. What lessons can I learn from this section in regards to my being a shepherd?

As ever, if you have any comments to make on this, please do contact me at partake(at)hotmail.co.uk. Thank you.

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