We Are Never Lost

April 21, 2024

Shepherds are a big deal in Hebrew history. Abraham had sheep and goats among his many flocks. God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah. The angel of God stopped him, and a ram was supplied for the sacrifice. After Moses killed an Egyptian and a Hebrew, he fled from Pharoah and became a shepherd for a man named Jethro, and married his daughter, Zipporah. He was tending the flocks when he encountered God in the burning bush.
At the Exodus, the Hebrew people were instructed to take a lamb or goat and offer it in sacrifice and eat it as the Passover lamb. Blood from the lamb was put over the doors of their homes, so that the Angel of Death would pass over. Later at Mount Sinai, God will instruct them to offer lambs and goats in sacrifice. David was a shepherd, working for his father, Jesse. For the people of the Old Testament, the Kings of Israel were called shepherds.

It is quite fitting, therefore, that Jesus, the Son of God, would be called the Good Shepherd. He Himself applies that title to Himself and explains why He calls Himself that. Jesus contrasts Himself with the other shepherds in Israel, King Herod, and the religious leaders of Jerusalem.  He says that a good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep, whereas the bad shepherds run away when there is danger.
Jesus says that He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. As God said to Jeremiah, “Before I knit you in your mother’s womb,” Jesus knows us. St. Augustine says that God knows us better than we know ourselves, and Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. We can hide nothing from Him. And as well as He knows us, good and bad, He loves us and is with us. Like a good shepherd, He looks after us and cares for us and is there to take us back when we have gotten lost.
—Fr. Mike Comer

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