Jesus, Our Shepherd~ Advent, Week One

advent wreath

As a family, we set time aside for an Advent reading each evening from December 1 to December 25.  This year we are using a Scripture guide I got from Pinterest. {You should really follow me there- wink, wink} My Sweet Pea {three years old} and I are making a construction paper chain out of the verses with pictures of things that will hopefully bring the verses to life in her little mind.

On the four Sundays of Advent, we hone in on a subject and take the study a little deeper.  Today, we focused on Jesus, Our Shepherd.

The Holman Bible Dictionary states that the term “shepherd” is used over 200 times throughout Scripture.  Shepherds were typically strong, hard working young men {often the younger sons in the family, such as the case with David} who spent their days keeping their flocks of sheep safe and protected.  The sheep were important to them, as they represented their livelihood.  Shepherds often had to lead their flocks from one area to another in search of good pasture. Providing food and water to the flock was a primary function of a shepherd. Predators, including wild cats and wolves, were among the various forms of threat that shepherds had to guard their sheep against.

There was often mingling of flocks, particularly with nomadic people such as the Israelites.  That is why sheep were trained to know the voice of their shepherd. Shepherds would have their own call for their flock. When it became necessary to separate the flocks, the shepherds could use their unique call and their sheep would follow their voice.

“After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice”.  John 10:4

A sheep faced grave danger when they would stray away from the flock. One of the shepherd’s functions was to go after the sheep that got away and bring them back to the safety of the fold.  Pause for a moment and think of a time that you strayed away from the safety of God’s path. Do you remember how He pursued you and brought you back?

There is deep meaning in the fact that Jesus referred to Himself as the Shepherd of His people.  Read John 10 and see how Jesus, in His own words, describes Himself as the Good Shepherd, tending His flock, the Church.

Then go to Luke 2 and read about the shepherds that were among the first to meet the Messiah.

And, take joy in the fact that we are the sheep of the Good Shepherd. He knows us by name, would give His life to protect and save us and is preparing the greenest pastures we can imagine for our eternal enjoyment.




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