Today’s name for Jesus was a total blessing to me! Jesus is known as our Shepherd!
~Hebrews 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, (20) Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (21)
Let’s look at a little history on the shepherds from the Middle East at the time of Christ. The shepherd had but a few tools for his trade. He possessed a rod, a staff and scented oil.
The rod was a straight stick and was used to beat away predators. The staff had a hook on the end and was used to guide the sheep in the direction the shepherd wanted them to go. If they strayed, he would reach out with his staff and pull the sheep back by its head.
When you look at the uses our Shepherd’s tools, you can see so many spiritual applications! We have the comfort of knowing that Christ carries a rod – a big stick, if you will 🙂 He promises to beat away the enemy and have victory over ole slew foot.
~1John 4:4b … because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Jesus’ staff guides us through His Word:
~Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
~Psalm 73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
~Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
When we disobey the Word, however, the Lord allows circumstances, trials and tribulations into our lives to draw us toward Him.
~Psalm 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
The scented oil was used to anoint the sheep. I found it interesting that there were three reasons why the sheep needed anointing:
- The oil kept flies from laying eggs in the sheeps’ nose. It is said that when the eggs hatched, it would cause the sheep to become hysterical and they would run into trees and even run off cliffs to their death!
- He lubricated the rams’ horns so they wouldn’t hurt each other during battle.
- The oil was used on the sheeps’ wounds to promote healing.
God anoints His children through the Holy Spirit. Noah Webster defines it as:
The use of oil in consecrations, was of high antiquity. Kings, prophets and priests were set apart or consecrated to their offices by the use of oil. Hence the peculiar application of the term anointed to Jesus Christ.
We are to be set apart, consecrated to Christ once we repent and are born again. We are anointed and when we are obedient sheep, the cares of this world will not overpower us and cause us to be blown about with every wind of doctrine. (see Ephesians 4:14) As well, when we are yielded to the Holy Spirit, we will not be fussing with the brethren but will love the brethren. (see 1 John 3:14) Thirdly, when we are anointed by the Shepherd, we are promised that He will heal our hearts, our wounds, our spirits, our broken hearts, our devastated homes, our sinful lives, etc. Our Shepherd will draw us to salvation, to His Father and to eternal life!
~Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Oh what a Great Shepherd we serve! Praise the Lord that the Perfect Shepherd is our Guide. He is the one who teaches us and leads us in His Word. What a beautiful depiction of Christ – the Great Shepherd! Praise His Holy Name!