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Good Shepherd

Here is a quick "good word" from the book of Numbers. As I was reading a section in that book recently, I came across a paragraph in which Moses is looking ahead to Joshua "taking the reins" so to speak. Moses' prayer brought to mind words that Jesus used in later years to describe Himself. The words were obviously written with Joshua in mind, but to me they seem to be prophetic at the same time. I find it equally as fascinating that Jesus' own name is actually the Greek form of the name "Joshua". See if you don't see a comparison too... Here is the scripture:

"Moses said to the Lord, 'May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord's people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.' "
Numbers 27 : 15-17

What a beautiful word. And now I will let Jesus speak for Himself...

"Therefore Jesus said again, 'I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

'I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees a wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatter it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

'I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.' "
John 10 : 7-16

One more passage to share with you, showing us the tender heart of our Good Shepherd ... speaking of Jesus, the scripture says:

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them. Because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.' "
Matthew 9 : 36-38

So many years ago, Moses prayed for a "shepherd" for this wandering nation. And God was indeed faithful not only to answer his prayers in that time; but also to answer them for all time ... with THE Shepherd. The One Who's tender heart caused Him to look upon all of our wandering hearts with compassion ... and bring our healing by laying down His life for us.

Thank You, Jesus.

March 27, 2004

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