One of the most splendid imageries depicted in the Holy Scripture is that of a shepherd. Lives of Hebrews were closely connected to tending of sheep. We can see many instances of sheep rearing in the lives of Hebrew forefathers like Isaac, Jacob and his sons. Moses was tending the sheep of Jethro, when he encountered the presence of God in the burning bush. David was handpicked by Prophet Samuel to ascend the throne of Israel while he was among his sheep.
A good Shepherd has a heart of a mother. He cares, shelters and defends his sheep. This might be one of the reasons why God is portrayed as a shepherd who watches over the people of Israel. Before the iconic fight with the giant Goliath, David says to Saul: “When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.” This same attitude that dares to take risks to rescue his sheep is seen in Christ, the Good Shepherd. He walks ahead of his sheep. He never runs away when confronted by the wolf. He lays down his life for his sheep.
In the game of chess, the king’s position is at the rear, safeguarded by the line of pawns, the knights, the bishops and the rooks. Most leaders and kings are like this. They will lead and govern, sitting in a bullet proof cabin. Even when their followers fall in the battle, they will ensure their personal safety.
But, there is one Shepherd in the history, who walks ahead of his sheep. He faces all the threats by himself before any of his sheep is endangered. When one of his hundred sheep is lost, he goes in search of that lost one, leaving behind the rest.
Have you ever thought why shepherds were so fortunate to listen to the Christmas message before anyone else? Because the shepherds were the only group, who kept awake, when the whole Israel was asleep. They sacrificed their sleep for their sheep. In the book of Genesis, Cain asks to God: “Am I the keeper to my brother?” And the negligence was sinful in the sight of God. The shepherds erased the sin of Cain, as they kept awake for others. That was why they had the fortune to hear the Good News about the birth of the Good Shepherd before anyone else.
Pope Francis speaks about the ‘shepherds with the smell of the sheep’. The shepherds who stays with the sheep – the leaders who knows the lives of his subjects closely and empathizes with them.
This is a times, where no one is ready to take care of or watch over the other. No one cares what happens to his neighbor, and no one is bothered if his neighbor is starving. The mission of the shepherd is more relevant than ever. Can we be a shepherd to our brothers and sisters?
And in this challenging times, we have a shepherd to cling to – Jesus, the Good Shepherd. As the psalmist says “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
മരിയന് ടൈംസില് പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിക്കുന്ന വാര്ത്തകളും ലേഖനങ്ങളും വീഡിയോകളും മരിയന് ടൈംസിന്റെ മൊബൈല് ആപ്പിലൂടെ നിങ്ങള്ക്ക് നേരിട്ട് ലഭിക്കും.