Always with the sheep and shepherd analogies. Israel has been a shepherding people since Abraham. When Jospeh relocates Jacob’s family to Egypt, they’re sent over to Goshen because their occupation was shepherding (Genesis 47:1-6).
Whenever the LORD wants to make a point about leaders caring for the people, He goes straight to the sheep-shepherd relationship. It’s something they all deeply understand. They do, in fact, know what a good shepherd is like. They know the signs of a bad shepherd. They understand the dangers facing sheep.
Although thousands of years later, we use the word pastor to define a Christian leader, we can still miss the directive. Just as Israel often strayed (there it is again) from this type of leadership.
When Jesus arrived, He both modeled a Good Shepherd (John 10:1-18) and a lamb raised for sacrifice.
Self sacrificial, gentle, defender, protector, provider. Like a great parent. We don’t all understand the sheep-shepherd dynamic, but we (hopefully) all have some frame of reference as to what it means to be nurturing.
We need to be gracious caregivers toward one another, knowing we’re all going to fall into a stupid mess every now and then. We all need a little TLC.
How can we be good shepherds today?