Do good shepherds break the legs of straying sheep? 🇧🇷 messianic bible (2023)

“I will set a shepherd over them, my servant David, and he will feed them; He will shepherd them and be their shepherd.(Ezekiel 34:23)

The shepherd is a prominent and significant metaphor in the Bible.

In fact, Adonai is referred to as a shepherd in Genesis 49:24 and Isaiah 40:11. In the latter, God is depicted as a meek shepherd who cares for his people, the flock.

“He guards his flock like a shepherd: he takes the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently guides those who have children.(Isaiah 40:11)

In Psalm 23, the psalmist tells us that the Lord is our shepherd and protects his flock from harm.

Why is God's flock compared to sheep and not cows, chickens or horses?

Sheep need guidance. Without them, they wander off and are injured or killed. Isaiah explains that we"All went astray like sheep, each went his own way"(Isaiah 53:6).That was true in his day, 700 years before Yeshua was born, just as it is today.

It takes special qualities to be a shepherd of sheep and people. In ancient Israel, God often appointed those who demonstrated skill and wisdom in leading and caring for His sheep with the privilege of leading God's people.

lamm(photo de Mor)

Why Pastors Can Be Great Leaders

So many great Jewish leaders were pastors.

God chose shepherds with a proven track record of caring for their sheep to be Israel's patriarchs and first leaders above all else.Abraham, Isaac,jacob,moisés, youKing David.

What is it about pastors that makes it so easy to assume a leadership role?

For one thing, shepherds have a lot of time to think about caring for their animals. According to Rabbi Ken Spiro, time for reflection is a prerequisite for leadership.

"Ascending to the highest level, where one transcends physical reality and enters a higher dimension of communication with infinity, requires an enormous amount of work and a lot of time to think."(Aisch)

Spiro further emphasizes that shepherds have a lot of practice in dealing with large groups of living beings.

Moses at the burning bush(Bible Primer, 1919)

“One of the great lessons we must learn from Jewish history is the difficulty and challenge of coming together and trying to lead the most individualistic nation in the world. Being a shepherd is good practice for this difficult task,” adds Spiro.

Although Moses was a prince of Egypt and likely familiar with the principles of Egyptian leadership, God prepared him for the task of leading the Israelites in a pastoral position for 40 years.

It was probably very humiliating, andmodestyIt is an important quality of a great leader.

Then, when he was ready, God appeared to him at the burning bush and put him in the role of leading the Israelites to freedom.

A good king praises his good shepherd

David was also a shepherd called to lead Israel.

David, who risked his life to protect his sheep from predators such as lions and bears, reveals the qualities of a good shepherd in Psalm 23.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he refreshes my soul.(V. 1–3a)

David's loneliness as a shepherd helped him to understand deeply that God was his shepherd. He understood that he was his sheep. It's a touching metaphor.

As sheep, we are totally dependent on our shepherd for our sustenance. The shepherd is attentive to our needs. When we enter the Good Shepherd's fold, his words feed our souls; His Spirit quenches our thirst and reveals to us mysteries that even prophets and angels longed for.(1 Pedro 1:10-12).

"He guides me in the right paths for his name's sake."(V.3b)

David could recognize his own restlessness, and when he turned to God and committed his life to him, he rested in his faithfulness.

Like sheep, humans are restless, prone to wandering, always looking for greener grass and often unaware of danger. Shepherds are vigilant and protect their flock from their own tendency to stray. This protects them from dangerous terrain and lurking predators.

Also, shepherds used to set up a sheep pen or a thorn-covered pen at night to keep the sheep in and predators out. They slept on top of the gate-turned-gate in the fence, effectively blocking the entrance so predators couldn't sneak up on them while they slept.

Israeli sheep feed on green pastures.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; thy staff and thy staff they comfort me.”(V.4)

When the sheep find themselves in dangerous situations, getting stuck in a thicket, floating down a river, passing a predator, the shepherd uses his tools (stick and staff) to defend, rescue and return his sheep to shelter.

People also find themselves in dangerous circumstances that they never imagined or are not prepared for. God never leaves us alone to face these challenges.

Often considered a disciplinary tool, the stick is actually a weapon used to defend sheep by repelling predators. The stick is used to hook a sheep's neck or leg to deflect, hold or push it, not to hurt it but to protect it.

A popular myth has us believe that shepherds in ancient Israel broke the leg of a stray sheep. While the leg is healing, the shepherd is said to have enjoyed the sheep as he nursed them back to health and kept the disabled sheep close to his heart.

In reality, breaking a sheep's leg is highly impractical and counterproductive. They can weigh up to 30 kilos, so carrying just one handicapped sheep would make things difficult for the shepherd and prevent him from caring for his other sheep for several weeks.

Imagine a shepherd taking care of several sheep in this condition!

Additionally, the sheep's leg may not heal properly, permanently preventing it from responding to predators. And, in the end, the sheep may associate the rod and staff with punishment, not with comfort and protection, making the shepherd's job considerably more difficult.

A Samaritan leads a sheep during Passover.

If shepherds in ancient Israel messed up their sheep by breaking their legs, we would see this reflected in Jewish tradition. What we see instead is thisMidraschwritten nearly 1,000 years agomoisésas a shepherd:

“One day, a child in Moses' care ran away from the flock. Moses pursued him until he reached a well and began to drink. When Moses caught up with the boy, he shouted, "Oh, I didn't know you were thirsty!" She cradled the runaway child in her arms and led him to the herd. The Almighty said: 'You are merciful in feeding sheep - you will feed My flock, the people of Israel.'(Shamot Rabbah 2:2)

The revered Lubavitcher Rebbe of the last century helps us understand the most biblical truth about shepherding:

“Moses realized that the boy did not run away from the flock out of malice or malice, he was just thirsty. … Only a shepherd who is quick not to judge the runaway child, sensitive to the reasons for his flight, can mercifully take him in his arms and bring him home.(break)

What an amazing lesson for us too. Before we judge and condemn our own sheep for what appears to be backsliding, rebellion, or lack of judgment,We have the opportunity to discover the reason for their actions so that we can more effectively lead them to greener pastures and calmer waters, rather than judging and punishing them.

Isaiah(40:11)sums up our duties when it says "good shepherd".“he takes the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently guides those who have children.

Israeli postage stamp from 1955

As we continue to read Psalm 23, David, the shepherd and king, writes:

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies."(V. 5a)

A shepherd will never betray his sheep by allowing a predator to capture them; Instead, he'll keep predators at bay while leading his sheep to pasture. Although people do not protect us in this way or even endanger us, our Good Shepherd never does.

“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”(v. 5b)

When sheep were lost and injured, shepherds used oil as a balm to ease the pain and heal the pain. This gesture is also a symbol of a host's generous generosity and kindness.

In David's case, this shepherd ended up being anointed king with oil.

Likewise, Yeshua, though King of kings, came as a humble shepherd. When he returns, his exalted kingship will be evident to all.

But we can also take this lesson to our own level. God can and does raise even the lowliest of people, much to the chagrin of those who look down on them.

"Verily, thy goodness and thy love shall follow me all the days of my life, and in the house of the Lord I will dwell for long days."(V.6)

David defending his flock from predators (Enchanting Stories, 1888)

Sheep are the most precious and valuable asset a shepherd has; therefore, a good shepherd treats them like a treasure.

At great personal sacrifice, he is responsible for his herd for life, as are the nurses who care for critically ill patients all night long, even after their 12-hour shift is over, to ensure their patients get their next treatment.

Likewise, Yeshua is such a shepherd. He will never leave us and care for us selflessly. He even gave his life for us.(Juan 10)

selfish pastoral work

the prophetsEzequielyzechariahclaim that God sees leadership as shepherds. He's so concerned that leaders take the responsibility of shepherding seriously that he says he hates pastors who don't care about their flock:

"Woe to you, shepherds of Israel, who only care about yourselves! Shouldn't shepherds look after the flock? You eat the cottage cheese, wear the wool, and kill the fine animals, but you don't tend the flock.

“You have not strengthened the weak, nor healed the sick, nor healed the wounded. You didn't bring the lost or seek the lost. They ruled them harshly and brutally.

"Then they scattered because there was no shepherd, and, being scattered, they became pasture for all wild animals."(Ezekiel 34:3-5)

But he also promises to send the Good Shepherd to care for his sheep:

“I will set a shepherd over them, my servant David, and he will feed them; He will take care of them and be their shepherd. I, the Lord, will be your God, and my servant David will be your prince. I, the Lord, have spoken."(Ezekiel 34:23-24)

That isKnechtThe Shepherd is Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah, who as promised came from the lineage of David.

Children visit sheep in the pen on a kibbutz in Israel.(Photo by Wanderlasss)

Yeshua: O Bom Pastor

Yeshua came in fulfillment of God's promise to send a good shepherd to Israel.

However, by the time of his birth, the shopkeeper and the doctor had risen through the social ranks, while the religious leaders despised and distrusted the shepherds and officially condemned them as "sinners".

However, Yeshua did not come to stand up in the eyes of the religious establishment. He fully understood his role as a good shepherd and humbled himself"Seek and Save the Lost"– Your sheep(Lucas 19:10).

Yeshua explained it this way:“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Leave the ninety-nine in the field and go after the straying sheep until you find it? And when he finds it, he gladly puts it on his shoulders."(Lucas 15:4–7)

The joy of finding something lost but precious is illustrated in the parable of a father who spreads a great feast for his returning son. No punishment, no shame. Just pure joy.(Luke 15:11–32; see also verses 8–10)

A sheep in the flock(Photo by Wanderlasss)

Like a good Shepherd, Yeshua persistently called out to His scattered sheep who were not yet under His care and protection as their Messiah.

And although he first came to the Jewish people as the Shepherd King of Israel, Yeshua made it clear that some of his sheep arenot jewish:

“I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them too and they will hear My voice; and they will be one flock with one shepherd.”(John 10:16; see also Deuteronomy 32:21; Zechariah 2:11; Isaiah 49:22, 62:6–7)

Certainly, in the last 2000 years, we have seen a large number of nations hear the call of Yeshua and accept Him as their Messiah. And we understand that when the fullness of the Gentiles is complete, all Israel will also be saved.

That prophetic time is not far off. Meanwhile, we must attend to the flock of the Shepherd of Israel.

In fact, Yeshua instructed:"Feed my lambs. ... tend my sheep. ...Feed my sheep.(Juan 21:15-17)

And as we care for the sheep in our care (staff, students, patients, and children), we must continue to bless Israel.

“Save your people and bless your heritage; be her shepherd and take her forever.(Salmo 28:9)


What does a good shepherd do for his sheep in the Bible? ›

The Good Shepherd always leads His sheep in the right way. He Promises His presence: “I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me” (vs. 4). The presence of the Good Shepherd is always there to lead us, feed us, protect us and to watch over us at all times.

What are the duties of a good shepherd? ›

Shepherd-leaders need to strive for feeding the lambs and the sheep, bringing them to good pasture lands and water, grooming and clipping them, playing midwives for delivering new lambs, directing them and teaching them to stay in unity, seeking after the wandering lost ones, and protecting the sheep in the kosmos and ...

What are the characteristics of a good shepherd in the Bible? ›

In summary, the good shepherd showed great concern for his sheep. He provided for them in terms of nourishment and rest. He guided them, leading the way. He was intimately involved with the flock and concerned for the safety of each individual.

What does Jesus say about the Good Shepherd? ›

Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14). The relationship of believers with Jesus Christ is that of sheep to a shepherd. The Lord is our shepherd; we are his flock.

What are the three qualities of a good shepherd? ›

8 Qualities of Shepherd-Leaders
  • Boundaries. As I've written elsewhere, every relationship is defined and preserved by boundaries. ...
  • Example. The shepherd “goes on ahead of [the sheep], and his sheep follow him” (10:3-4). ...
  • Trustworthy. ...
  • Provision. ...
  • Sacrificial. ...
  • Invested. ...
  • Relational. ...
  • Visionary.
Apr 19, 2022

What is the moral lesson of the parable of the good shepherd? ›

In this parable, Jesus wanted to teach the people that we are like sheep. He doesn't mean that we look like sheep but that we act like sheep. Sheep are followers and they depend on a shepherd to lead them to safety. This is true for us, too.

Why does God choose shepherds? ›

God saw the shepherds as a group who would be honest messengers. The angels' message to them was, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10). In their time, shepherds were known as people who were honest and straightforward. Their words did not mean authority, but meant truth.

Does a shepherd lead or follow? ›

Shepherds lead a manageable number of sheep from the front of the flock. Sheepherders make the sheep to move forward out of fear of the sheepherder and the dogs behind them. Shepherds move forward at the head of the flock and the sheep follow because they know and trust the shepherd.

Why were shepherds considered unclean? ›

In ancient Israel, shepherds were generally considered “unclean” in the community of God's people because of the work they did. They were in daily contact with dirty, smelly sheep, their manure, their blood from cuts and scrapes, and the insects that buzzed around them.

Who is considered as the good shepherd? ›

The Good Shepherd (Greek: ποιμὴν ὁ καλός, poimḗn ho kalós) is an image used in the pericope of John 10:1–21, in which Jesus Christ is depicted as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. Similar imagery is used in Psalm 23 and Ezekiel 34:11–16.

What does sheep symbolize in the Bible? ›

With regards to "judgement day," sheep and goats are used as metaphors in the Bible. Sheep are the followers of Christ, while goats chose not to follow Christ. The parable is based on the differences in behavior between sheep and goats. Sheep are gentle, quiet, innocent animals.

What are the 7 principles of the Way of the shepherd? ›

“The Way of the Shepherd”
  • Know the Condition of Your Flock.
  • Discover the SHAPE of Your Sheep.
  • Help Your Sheep Identify with You.
  • Make Your Pasture a Safe Place.
  • The Staff of Direction.
  • The Rod of Correction.
  • The Heart of the Shepherd.
Jul 30, 2021

How does a shepherd call his sheep? ›

"He calls His own sheep by name." Saul's companions heard something (Acts 22:9), the Jews thought it thundered (Jn. 12:29), but sheep hear their name. The Shepherd doesn't call out His flock; He calls His own one at a time.

Why did the angels choose shepherds first? ›

The shepherds to whom the angels appeared were the ones who were in charge of the temple flock. They had the oversight of the lambs that would soon be sacrificed to provide atonement for sin.

What were the shepherds afraid of? ›

As described in verses 8–20 of the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, shepherds were tending their flocks out in the countryside near Bethlehem, when they were terrified by the appearance of an angel.

Which angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds? ›

The angel Gabriel appears to shepherds at night to tell of Christ's birth.

What do shepherds do for their sheep? ›

The duty of shepherds was to keep their flock intact, protect it from predators and guide it to market areas in time for shearing. In ancient times, shepherds also commonly milked their sheep, and made cheese from this milk; few shepherds still do this today.

How the shepherd take care of the sheep? ›

The shepherd will graze the animals, herding them to areas of good forage, and keeping a watchful eye out for poisonous plants. Shepherds often live in trailers or other mobile quarters. As the sheep eat all the forage in an area, the shepherd will move both the sheep and his living quarters to fresh range.

What 3 things does the shepherd provide in the pasture for his sheep? ›

One of the most beloved Psalms is Psalm 23, which can be viewed as a classic conceit. The Psalmist opens with “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” The implicit trust in the role of the shepherd to provide for the sheep is addressed right away. The shepherd provides food, water, and rest.

How does a shepherd lead his sheep? ›

Shepherds move forward at the head of the flock and the sheep follow because they know and trust the shepherd.

What does God say about shepherds? ›

"`For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.

Do sheep choose their shepherd? ›

Often times a friend can be a person, particularly if the person feeds the sheep. By using this instinct, shepherds have controlled sheep movement for centuries. In this case the sheep will follow other sheep that are actually moving to see a friend (the shepherd who feeds them).


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