Sheep of the Good Shepherd


God intervenes in the lives of the people of earth to reveal himself and persuade them that Jesus is the Lord who wants to shepherd them. Where do we stand in our understanding of the Lord Jesus? The people of God will respond: “The Lord is our God!”

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

1 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is close to me!”
declares the Lord Almighty.
“Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8 In the whole land,” declares the Lord,
“two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
yet one-third will be left in it.
9 This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
Zechariah 12:10, 13:1, 7-9

We see layers of prophecy in Zechariah’s visions. Jesus is foretold here as the one they have pierced.  Through his sacrifice, grace came as a free gift to those who will receive God’s only son.  The grief of his followers was overwhelming. They grieved as one who grieves for a firstborn son.  This is Jesus.

Jesus opened the fountain for all to be cleansed from sin and impurity.

He is our Good Shepherd.  And we know that Jesus longed to shepherd all people, yet many would not have it.  Many of his own resisted and Jesus grieved this disbelief and rejection (Matthew 23:37). Therefore, our Lord invested in and cared for the sheep who would hear his voice and he let the rest of the sheep wander in their disobedience.

As the shepherd was struck down, the sheep were scattered.  Both Jews and Christians among them were dispersed across the Middle East and Europe.  And we see in language which resembles the exile of God’s children in Old Testament time, God will turn his hand against the little ones.  God intervenes in the lives of the people of earth to persuade them that he is Lord and should be followed and obeyed.  The Lord decidedly does not force faith.  He acts and interacts with us toward our self-awareness and understanding of our need for him and his grace.

The refining of vs. 9 is on.  God will test us like gold to see what burns up in the fire.  This is a refining to determine whom Jesus is in their hearts.  Is he Good Shepherd, who has willingly given his life for his sheep, or is he good teacher, who told warm stories and is buried with his ancestors forever? Where do we stand in our understanding of the Lord Jesus?

The remnant third will say (vs. 9), “The Lord is our God.”  Will we be among them on that day?  To answer this question, ask yourself if you stand with him today.  If tested in fire today, would you shine as gold in the flames?  The Good Shepherd’s sheep hear his voice and follow him (John 10:27).  Do you?

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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