“You have not strengthened the weak or healed those who are ill or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.” Ezekiel 34.4
When Jesus spoke about himself as the good shepherd, one of the Bible passages he probably had in mind was Ezekiel 34, in which God spoke through Ezekiel about two sorts of shepherds. The first was self-seeking and cared little for the flock entrusted to him, whereas the other delighted in his sheep, cared for the flock’s every need and searched for them when they went astray.
By speaking of himself as the good shepherd, Jesus committed himself to a ministry of caring deeply about every part of us. The implication is that whatever your needs, you should never be tempted to wonder – does he care? If you think like this, you are asking him which type of shepherd he really is, and he has already given you the answer.
It doesn’t mean that at times you will not be confused by his actions or even his apparent silence, but it does mean that he has told you that he is looking out for you and is utterly committed to you, even if it is only later that you can look back and see his guiding, healing hand at work in your life.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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