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The Gospel Came to You: One Shepherd

By Mike Pettengill, Dec 18, 2018

The following is an excerpt from The Gospel Came to You: Daily Reflections for Advent entitled "One Shepherd."  

“And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.”
- Ezekiel 34:23

In the Western world we are less familiar with the relationships which exist between a shepherd and his sheep. Shepherds are known to sing to and talk to their sheep. They spend hours at a time with the sheep. The shepherd will nudge them in the right direction and pull them from danger. Shepherds will even risk their own lives to protect their sheep. The sheep trust and respond to their shepherd. A flock will only respond to the voice and presence of their shepherd and no other.

God did not want Israel to have a human king. He desired for his people to be different, to rely on their perfect Father who would provide them with all their needs. Instead, Israel demanded a human champion like other nations. God provided his petulant children with David, a man after God’s own heart, but his people wanted Saul, a tall, attractive leader. After the failed experiment with Saul, David ruled over Israel. David was a sinner and made poor decisions, but he ruled with God’s people in mind. David prayed for his people and asked God to punish him, instead of Israel. David, like the rest of us, sinned against God, but always returned to repent and seek God’s glory. David always loved and cared for God’s people.

David was God’s chosen shepherd over his beloved people. David was a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the good shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep. The Son was sent to guide, direct, and train us into a saving relationship with the Father. Christ was sent to lay down his life so God’s followers could be spared. Like a shepherd standing between a bear and his sheep, Jesus placed himself between us and an eternity separated from the Father.

“And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”
- John 10:16

“Jesus was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.” - George Whitefield

PRAY: Loving Creator, we acknowledge our desperate need for the perfect Shepherd. It is our own nature which necessitates Jesus to stand between us and our sin and to protect us from ourselves. Thank you for sending Christ and the Spirit to watch over your sheep which you love so dearly.

Mike Pettengill started writing The Gospel Came to You: Daily Reflections for Advent while serving as a missionary in Honduras and completed the writing while serving Jesus in Equatorial Guinea. Today Mike serves as MTW's West Coast hub director. 

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