About Jesus Steve Sweetman
And Sheep (ch. 34:1 - 31)
Word of the Lord that Ezekiel is to prophesy as seen in verse 1 is
directed to the "shepherds of Israel". These are the
leaders of Israel, those who were to care for God's people.
Note the word "against" in verse 1.
This is not a pleasant prophecy.
2 says, "wow to the shepherds of Israel
who only take care of themselves".
I'm sure you can remember Jesus saying pretty much the same thing
to the Jewish leaders of His day when He was on earth.
Those who God has put in charge of His people are to be His
servants and they are to serve His people. Taking care of one's self and
becoming rich at being a shepherd is not thought well of by God.
I see too much of the same thing in the church today.
Christian pastors are to serve God's people.
They aren't pastors in order to maintain a wealthy life style
can see the duties of a shepherd of God by reading what these shepherds
haven't done. In verse 3 the
leaders eat good food and wear fine clothes while the people are poor.
I know of poor people in churches today that can't be looked
after properly because of high salaries of pastors and building
expenses. I don't believe
this is right. A shepherd, a
pastor, is to give to his flock, even if he has to take from himself to
verse 4 the shepherds haven't taken care of the weak, injured, and sick.
That tells us that taking care of such people is the duties of the
shepherds. Also in verse 4
we see that shepherds are to seek out the lost sheep.
In most churches today, the lost sheep go forgotten.
These shepherds treated their people brutally.
Jesus said the Gentile leaders lord it over their people.
It appears that these Jewish leaders were doing the same.
Jesus also said that this should not be the case in the Kingdom
5 tells us what happens to God's people when God's shepherds fail to do
their jobs. The sheep get
scattered here there and everywhere.
And really, this verse is prophetic.
Jesus said that He came for the lost sheep of
6 paints a sad picture. God's
sheep are scattered all over the place and absolutely no one went
looking for them. Those who
were called to look for them were too busy with their own lives and
profiting from their place in leadership.
The Jewish leaders in the days when Jesus was on earth made a
very good living at being leaders. They
were the most wealthiest Jews in Jewish society.
a parallel in the church today, I think it is very important to pray
for, seek out, and speak to, those Christians who have backslidden away
from the Lord. It is
the very nature of Jesus to do such a thing.
7 and following tells us how God responds to these bad shepherds. Verse
10 states that God is "against" these shepherds.
He is not on their side. He
will appose them on all fronts. That's
what "against" means. God
also says that He will hold these shepherds "accountable".
They will be judged for their failure to care for the sheep,
resulting in the destruction of the sheep.
in verse 10 God says that He will remove them from being shepherds. He
has often done this throughout Jewish history.
I believe God has, is, and will, do the same in the Christian
church. Even today, as many
churches decrease in numbers due to the failure to obey the Bible
mandates, leaders lose their jobs because the church loses its people.
10 closes with God saying "I will rescue" my flock.
I tend to see this taking place at the end of this age when Jesus
returns, and He alone will gather the lost sheep of
11 to 16 state that God will search for the lost sheep of
might remember Jesus saying that He has other sheep.
I believe these are Gentile sheep
As Jesus gathers the lost sheep of
20 to 25 speak of two types of sheep.
There are the fat sheep and the thin sheep.
The fat sheep are like the shepherds in the beginning of this
chapter. They have taken
care of themselves at the neglect of the poor people among them.
God is far from happy with this.
He will judge the fat sheep accordingly.
With the Christian church today, it's not only our mandate to
preach the gospel, but also to feed the poor.
verse 23. God says that
eventually He will place one shepherd over Israel. He is God's "servant
David". Some people
believe this is literally David. I
don't. I believe the David
spoken of here is Jesus. Jesus
is often linked to the lineage of David throughout the Bible.
At the end of this age, Israel
will have one shepherd, and He will be Jesus.
As Joshua was symbolic of Jesus, so is David.
Verse 24 declares David, or, Jesus to be "prince among
them". This simply
means that Jesus will be Lord among and over
25 states that God will make a covenant of peace with these sheep and He
will rid the land of the wild beasts that have been destroying the
flock. This tells us that
when Jesus returns to rule from
the land of the wild beasts means that God will destroy the enemies of Israel
that are presently in their land causing them all sorts of problems.
This is truly the fate of Israel
at the end of this age. This
is also relevant to today's
see the blessings of God towards
rest of this chapter continues to state the good things the Lord God
will do for