by Lois Tverberg
picture of the shepherd was often used in the Bible for kings and leaders,
in particular about God as shepherd of h is people, as in Psalm 23. Interestingly,
many passages in the Old Testament use images of shepherds to refer to
the coming Messiah.
The picture of the shepherd was often used in the Bible for kings and leaders, in particular about God as shepherd of
is people, as in Psalm 23. Interestingly, many passages in the Old Testament use images of shepherds to refer to the coming Messiah.One of the most important passages about the "Good Shepherd" is in Ezekiel 34:
This passage contains several rich things that are in the background of Jesus' statements about himself. We can hear the background of Jesus' parable about the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to look for the one lost sheep (Luke 15:4-7). We also hear Jesus words about how when he comes again, he will judge between the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31 - 34). Jesus was also probably referring to this passage in his words to Zacchaeus: "...the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (Luke 19:9-10).
What is most interesting is that the Ezekiel passage clearly says that it would be God Himself who would come to seek out his lost sheep, and Jesus repeatedly says that he is the fulfillment of these words. Through this, his listeners would have heard his very bold claim that not only is he the Messiah, he is God incarnate, coming to earth to rescue his people.
| ©2003 Lois A. Tverberg, Ph.D., OurRabbiJesus.com. All rights
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