3. a. Jesus had compassion of the crowds because “they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
b. Verses about the Lord’s great compassion—
- As my shepherd, He makes sure I don’t need a thing. (Physically and spiritually)
- He makes sure I get peaceful rest.
- He refreshes me when my body and soul are thirsty.
- He lets me catch my breath.
- He leads me in the right direction.
- Even though the Lord knows we will all choose to wander off the right path, He took all our sins and heaped them on Jesus.
- Jesus also took all the sickness and death brought on by sin, and by His wounds we were healed.
We get lost because we follow the wrong shepherds. We forget the True Shepherd* IS our place of rest. *Love the heading, “God, True Shepherd,” before this passage in the Spirit Filled Life Bible
The True Shepherd holds earthly leaders accountable. (Specifically, the descendants of Abraham.) They (the leaders) were to shield the people from predators.
Because earthly kings and priests became corrupt and did not search for and bring the lost sheep back to Him, He took it upon Himself to send His Son to gather the lost and scattered sheep. When His Son gathers them, He will feed them. They will no longer be dependent on leaders or others to feed them. Nor will they have to feed themselves. (Never noticed that before. Isn’t this what happens in BSF? We aren’t feeling particularly satisfied anywhere else, so we are going directly to God’s word and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach and counsel us.)
I can see how this also applies in the natural—the restoration of Israel—and in the spiritual—the kingdom of God.
He will seek out…
- the lost and strayed. He will rescue them and bring them into a safe place. He will feed them with plentiful and nourishing food. (I’m looking for more of those mountaintop moments!)
- the hurt and crippled; the weak and sick. He will strengthen and bandage them up.
- the fat and the strong sheep—those who have sought their own welfare at the expense of others. (Verses 17- 22 further describes the behavior of the oppressive, opportunistic leadership.)
John 10:11-15 The Good Shepherd, in contrast to the employees, lays down His life for the sheep rather than deserting them when danger approaches.
c. Keying in on the part about leaders in institutional religion (as well as leaders in politics,) I can think of many believers who fall into the same position as those listening to Jesus. Myself included.
4. a. Jesus said we should ask the Lord to supply workers for God’s harvest field.
b. Jesus gave His disciples “authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” Matthew 10:1 (NIV)
c. Ways Jesus has prepared me to follow Him in trust and action:
- I received power to be one of His witnesses when the Holy Spirit came upon me. (Acts 1:8)
- He is with me always. (Matthew 28:20)
- I seek to trust the Lord with all my heart. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- I endeavor to be like the Bereans. (Acts:17:11)