The Gospel text for Sunday seems like a piece meal deal that cuts out a major story (The Feeding of the 5000). But before we get too excited, the Feeding of the 5000 account is picked up next week when we begin a 6 week stretch in the Gospel of John. This stretch in John starts with the feeding story and then a series or texts that talk about Jesus as the Bread of Life. We will deal with that more in the coming weeks…but back to sheep and the Shepherd.
This Sunday, Jeremiah mentions the shepherds who have scattered God’s sheep and God’s response to their irresponsibility. The Psalm is Psalm 23…”The Lord is my shepherd…“. The second lesson is from Ephesians 2. It doesn’t talk about sheep and shepherds specifically, but some correlations can be drawn. The key verse that jumps out to me here is 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone.” And then the Mark text from chapter 6 has people flocking to Jesus. And even though he and the disciples are trying to get some R & R, Jesus has compassion on the people “because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” Lots to deal with here.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I still haven’t totally figured out what I am preaching on yet (actually I should say that the Holy Spirit hasn’t revealed it to me yet). But here are some thoughts I am pondering (at least until further notice):
(1) “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” (Jer. 23:1)
–As people who know the truth of God through Jesus Christ, we have an amazing responsibility.
–God WILL bring all his sheep back under one righteous King (referring to Jesus).
–God has a heart for “sheep”.
(2) Psalm 23…”and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Picking up where Jeremiah left off.
(3) Ephesians…God’s gift of salvation is for ALL people through Jesus Christ.
(4) As “sheep” we all need a shepherd. But as we see from Jeremiah, we need to be aware of what shepherd we are following. There is only one GOOD Shepherd.
Those are just a few things I am pondering and I am sure others will pop up today. So with that I ask you:
What preachable moments are you seeing in the texts?
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
As a lay person sitting in the pew (and I know there are a number of you out there reading this…and many who are here in Jackson) what do you need to hear…right now…in this place?
What does it mean for you to be considered “sheep” and that Jesus is our “Shepherd”?
Until next time, happy scripture reading and have a blessed “sheepish” day following our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Praise be to God!