The birth of offspring in a flock often occurs far off on the mountain side. Outline: The Bad Shepherds of Israel (23:13-36). But consider this, God used that person at a precise time in your life to save your soul and to bring you peace. Bethlehem was not a big city and we can imagine the darkness that consumed the shepherds on this special night. At just twenty-two years of age, Bob became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church. The shepherds, these characters of Christmas, provide a different perspective on the Christmas story, reminding us that the gospel reaches all people. A brief formula for being a good pastor/elder is to say to the flock, “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:11). The good shepherd also protects his sheep. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10:12-13). Copyright © 2021 Networld Media Group, LLC. He explained that he was a new person because of the gospel, and he called on others to believe. The New Testament identifies three types of wolves that will kill, steal and destroy unprotected sheep: false teachers (Acts 20:29), grossly immoral believers (1Corinthians 5:1-2), and those who are repeatedly divisive (Titus 3:10). 1. It is God’s grace that saves a person through faith. The night sky lights up with the glory of God and all those sitting in the fields were overcome by the light’s intensity. The manger is the epitome of humility. Throughout Scripture, sinners in general, and God’s people in particular, are described as sheep. This brings Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, because they are in the line of David. Fresh sermon illustrations and updates on new sermons, preaching articles and much more! The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. Now think about the manger scene. Shepherds themselves first declared this likeness. John 10:10-16 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. There is very little practical training for elders today. One tradition that some families have is to read the Christmas story on Christmas morning before gifts are open. 12 Characteristics of Sheep By DAVID MURRAY of Head Heart Hand. Remember, these were not guys people wanted to be around, yet it is this group of unpopular people that first come to see the Savior. Category: Sheep & Shepherds in the Bible. Simon Peter encouraged elders to “be shepherds of God’s flock” [under their care so that] “when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4). While we do not know how many shepherds there were, the plural usage of the term helps us conclude there were multiple shepherds in the field. Their job was dangerous at times, but was mostly boring and tedious. This sudden appearance in the dark sky brings fear on the shepherds (I think we would have all jumped out of our skin at this appearance in the middle of the night). Chances are good the story you chose to read from the Bible is Luke 2:1-20. The aba keeps the boy warm, is able to shed the rain, and at night is used as a blanket in which to wrap himself. It is written as 90-1-50. His Shepherd Psalm has become the classic of the ages. Like the shepherds, Paul had a new song of praise in his heart. Back to Paul Rickenbacker who has served ten years of his life sentence. The rod was a sturdy stick with a knob at one end. A truly remarkable book about the desert and shepherding imagery of the Bible. Let’s look at their duties: 1. The shepherd also carried a long staff. “Sheep” and “flocks” are mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible, using twelve different Hebrew words and four Greek words. Why We Are Compared to Sheep in the Bible. They spent their entire lives taking care of sheep. They spy greener grass in the other direction or fail to notice when the flock moves … David Karn is the Senior Pastor at Grace Community Church in Goldsboro, NC. These nine characteristics of sheep in the Bible are so close to our lives it’s uncanny. I never forgot the fact that he took the time to watch me play ball. Loves his sheep and develops a close, intimate relationship with them so that they know his voice and trust him. While they are there, the Son of God is born, just as prophesied in Scripture. As you know, the shepherd image has a long history within the Bible. After Jesus’ resurrection, he passes th… This sermon is part of “The Characters of Christmas” sermon series. When the angels reported Jesus’ birth the shepherds immediately went to Him. Shepherds may also dock, or cut off, the tails of young lambs. A shepherd’s responsibility is to feed the flock. Stop for a moment and let this idea impact your thinking. When you look at the deeper meaning of a word, you can look at the total numerical value in different ways (I only use one). That small congregation of 120 members became one of the largest churches in America, with 18,000 people attending the four worship services every weekend in 2006 when Bob retired. 3:4). It would be very good if we possessed this characteristic, because we always want to defend ourselves, we always want our own righteousness to prevail; we always think we are right, and we fight for it to the end. Jacob so addressed God in the days just before his death . 3. Christianity Today strengthens the church by richly communicating the breadth of the true, good, and beautiful gospel. 1. The gospel of John elaborates this theme by calling him the good shepherd. On a clear night, away from the city’s lights, we can gaze into the night sky and see a multitude of stars. With Jesus, there would be no hunger or thirsting. Along with goat, cattle, and pig, they have long been integral to the economy of ancient Palestine. Christmas time is filled with tradition. One of the keys to successful capital campaigns is for church leaders to make advance commitments and for that total to be revealed to the congregation. We should also understand that Jesus declares that he is the good shepherd thus making him God. The birth of offspring in a flock often occurs far off on the mountain side. A local church has adopted the prison and they come to share God’s Word and be an encouragement for the inmates. This causes Mary and Joseph to travel from Galilee to Bethlehem to be registered. Chances are good the story you chose to read from the Bible is Luke 2:1-20. Finally, as human occupations go, shepherds are unique. But reread the Scripture at this moment and listen to the angel’s words. Paul Rickenbacker had walked into the local mall and fatally wounded many of the townspeople. Here are five qualities that I found, that describe a good shepherd, along with five scriptures that show why this is such a perfect description of Jesus…. A good pastor takes time to listen to people, learns as many of their names as possible, and takes a keen interest in their everyday activities. When arrested, Paul confessed to the crime and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole. Biblical Portrayal of Shepherds. So what is a shepherd? They thought a man who committed such a crime could not come to Christ, but that is the amazing thing about grace. That may have done more to motivate me into ministry than the scores of sermons I heard from him. This announcement brings a host of angels in the night sky who bring God the praise and glory he rightly deserves because peace is the result of this joyful good news. 2-4): a) They feed themselves (2) and horde riches instead of feeding the sheep. Goats & Sheep Are Not “Black & White” September 18, 2018 October 17, 2018 A-sheep-LikeFaith 2 Comments. Paul sat in his cell and spent most of his waking hours reading the Scriptures and growing in Christ. However, in this study, we want to see the characteristics of a good shepherd and how we are in the role of a shepherd. “I never thought this could happen in my town,” said the residents of this tiny southern town when they learned the news of the horrific crime. Jesus taught: “The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. The setting is significant. Unlike other animals that shed their hair in the spring, many breeds of sheep must be shorn – have their fleece cut off with shears or clippers. But ten years had passed, and Paul was a new person, inside and out. The text tells us that those who heard what the shepherds said, stood in amazement and wondered at what they heard, but Mary sat by the manger and pondered what they had said in her heart. This unpopular group of people is the first group to whom God announces the birth of his Son. A good shepherd rescuing a lost sheep, who had no hope . They seem to … The qualities that made Jesus the Good Shepherd are the same qualities that still characterize a worthy pastor/elder. From the earliest days of David’s life until his final words to his son, Solomon, King David had a very significant place in history (1 Samuel 16; 1 Kings 2:1-11). The gospel reaches into the lives of all people with a message of hope and salvation. From decades of experience in the barren Judean hillside, Dr. Hareuveni shares innumerable insights into the desert imagery that winds its way through the Bible’s poets and prophets. The good shepherd leads the sheep: he “leads them out” (John 10:3). They see that he is there to weep with them when they weep and rejoice with them when they rejoice. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. The Bible says that Jesus knew what was in men’s hearts. The town was ecstatic when they heard of Paul’s life sentence. This is what the shepherds were to look for in the city of Bethlehem. The shepherd is the first profession mentioned in the Bible (Gen 4:2). This is the group that God chose to speak to in the field. Sheep are foolish I don’t know what sheep would score in an animal IQ, but I think they would be close to the bottom of the scale. Paul’s crime had made national news. The shepherds decide very quickly to head into town to find the Savior. When the Bible says that He gave His life for His sheep, it is because, if someone did not do this, all the sheep would be lost, because they can’t defend themselves. Just as fast as the angels appeared in the sky, they vanish from sight and the shepherds are plunged into darkness once again. When I was 11 years old I was thrilled when the new minister of our church attended one of my Little League baseball games. The people have such love and respect for him that they instinctively follow. Understands the needs of the sheep better than they do. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. Recently my husband and I heard a popular, famous preacher on the radio, who was preaching on Mathew 25:33 "...and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left." “I am the good shepherd. Paul never attended these services; never thought they were important and often thought of them as a waste of time. My friend Wessel sent me this sermon a few days ago because I was looking for a good sermon on grace. First, he would have a rod. This task may be assigned to sheepshearers, whose primary occupation is shearing, or it may be the responsibility of the shepherd. The massacre in the mall ten years earlier surpassed anything in prior history. The story of the shepherds reminds us of and helps us to understand the reach of the gospel to all people. Simon Peter encouraged elders to “be shepherds of God’s flock” [under their care so that], “…when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4). This Savior is the promised Messiah, the anointed one spoken of in the Old Testament whom the Jewish people anticipated. The rams of this breed are horned, and the ewes are not. The church senses that the good shepherd genuinely cares for them and puts their interest ahead of his own. Jesus said, “I am the gate for the sheep” (John 10:7). Maybe you were a young child or a teenager or a young adult when you heard the life changing message of the gospel. He was soon captured and taken into custody. There are no better teachers or models of leadership. This message on Matthew 23 was preached at Littleton Bible Chapel on February 2, 2012. Paul learned that a Savior had come to rescue him from the bondage of sin and redeem him from a life in sin. Sheep are utterly dependent upon their shepherd to lead them to pastures (they eat grasses), provide them with water, and protect them from danger. Shearing the Flock. They were considered social misfits, thieves, and religious outcasts. In verse 10 the message comes from a singular unnamed angel and concludes with a host of angels giving praise to God for the peace he has provided to the earth through his Son. They hated this man. As John 10:11 puts it, “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Christ demonstrated His love for us by dying for us while we were still sinners. God was working behind the scenes to bring prophetic Scripture to fulfilment. A major news network decided to revisit the tragedy and run a special on TV. Let’s just say they have no sense of direction–at all. He spoke in a vernacular common to that time. 1. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep" (Jon 10:12,13). 1. Every Saturday morning during that time, a Bible study has been held at the prison. Can you remember where you were and who God sent your way to announce Jesus and invite you to follow him? Ministers inspire people to follow them whenever the people can trust their shepherd to guide them to green pastures. He is good. First, the Bible says Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” and the “Chief Shepherd.” Second, it’s easy to see the parallels between the “Good Shepherd” and pastors. It was the shepherd’s decision to go and to find the Savior. What does it mean to feed yourself? Packed into that one statement is the good news everyone needs to hear. Shepherds are often thrust into a difficult assignment and expected to instinctively know how to lead. You may wonder what is the character of sheep and why God chose to use sheep and goats as symbols for how we act. The angel then goes into detail about who Jesus is: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior (rescuer, redeemer, deliverer) who is Christ (Messiah, anointed one) the Lord (Master, ruler).” Packed into that one statement is rich theology. The angel has good news (the gospel) which is great joy and is for all people. From the idea of the shepherd as a protector and leader of the flock, came the concept of God as the Shepherd of Israel. I’m struck in Luke 2:16 of the shepherds “hurrying” to see and adore the Babe. They know he cares. Many people say sheep are stupid. The angel said the sign they were to look for that would identify the Savior, was a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, which was normal for any newborn at the time, placed in a manger, which was certainly not normal in that day. Back in the fields outside Bethlehem the shepherds sit around discussing what they just witnessed. The shepherd solicitously guards the mother during her helpless moments and picks up the lamb and carries it to the fold. Any wild animal seeking to harm the sheep could only enter through the gate guarded by the shepherd. The good elder protects the flock even if the adversary disguises himself as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, meaning that many in the church don’t recognize the danger. "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" (John 10:11). Paul did not know what to expect but what he heard changed his life. This sermon is part of the sermon series "The Characters of Christmas". They observe him sacrificing time, money and energy for them. The Divine Shepherd of the Exodus. 2. Some of my friends pitched in with sermons, but this one from a South African church was BY FAR the best. I’ve listened to it 3 times already. Tom Harper is publisher of BiblicalLeadership.com and CEO of Networld Media Group, the site's parent …. The shepherd's garb The dress of an Arab shepherd lad is a simple tunic of cotton that is girded around his body by a leathern girdle, and his outer garment, called aba , is often of camel's hair, like that of John the Baptist (Matt. The characteristic of false shepherds (vv. In biblical history, this image passes from God to his leaders as Moses, David and the elders here in the NT are referred to as shepherds. The staff was used as a walking stick for the shepherd, who also used it to maneuver sheep … They observe him sacrificing time, money and energy for them. But one Saturday, Paul sensed the need to attend. As John 10:11 puts it, “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Christ demonstrated His love for us by dying for us while we were still sinners. A strong sympathy for helpless animals, though sometimes misdirected, is a marked characteristic of the people of Bible lands. This resonated with Paul because he understood what literal bondage was but had no idea the impact of sin on eternal life. I propose 'shepherd-leadership'. Desert and Shepherd in Our Biblical Heritage – Nogah Hareuveni (1991). A manger was a feeding trough for animals and served as a bed for the Savior to lay his newborn head. 1. The Savior has been born to rescue us from sin. Many people did not buy what he was saying, even some in the Christian community did not believe him. One author points out that, in the Bible, “the shepherd image is one of the few that is applied exclusively to leaders.” No fewer than eight times in the Old Testament, God is portrayed as the shepherd of his people. That day, I wrote my prayer in the margin of my Bible in One Year: that I would shepherd the people with integrity of heart and lead them with skilful hands (Psalm 78:72). In the Gospels, Jesus Christ is described as the good shepherd. The first words from the angel’s mouth are to calm their fears. The lowly men went quickly and shared what they heard with others. The church senses that the good shepherd genuinely cares for them and puts their interest ahead of his own. The shepherd solicitously guards the mother during her helpless moments and picks up the lamb and carries it to the fold. Indeed, much of the Exodus story is told with elements of that image: God leading his people through the wilderness, feeding, caring and protecting them. They make her ponder this wonderful moment as she looks into the face of her Savior, the Messiah. Now, however, they have a spring their step and a new song of praise as they return to their work. The pastor understands that he is their shining example. Luke tell us that it was night when the shepherds were watching their flocks in the fields. Posted on April 8, 2011 | Comments Off on CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD SHEPHERD. One can only imagine the faces of those present in the stable when the shepherds show up. 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