Walter came home from Sunday school with a question all over his face. “Mom,” he asked, “did the shepherds have washing machines where they kept their sheep?”
“Shepherds? Washing machines?” After a moment she said, “No, darling, they did not have washing machines. Why do you ask?”
“Well, Mrs. Mathis was reading the story of the birth of Jesus and she said, ‘While shepherds washed their socks that night...’ and I didn’t understand what was going on.”
While we often think of the shepherds in the field that night, the glory that appeared with the angel and the fear that gripped them, we seldom connect the shepherds in that field with the Good Shepherd.
Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd” twice in John’s Gospel. In those statements, he summarized all of the prophetic images of His role as prophesier in the Old Testament. This declaration is a claim to His divinity as revealed in the Old Testament and focuses on His love, protection, and guidance of us – His lambs – in the New Testament.
But there is more. Not only is He our Shepherd but He chose to identify Himself as the “good shepherd” – and good is a term that carries with it nobility. It stands in sharp contrast to shepherds who were hired hands who worked and cared only for their own self-interests.
Prayer: We thank You, Lord, for loving us, for being our Good Shepherd and for laying down Your life for us. May we always follow You, our “Good Shepherd!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.