The Webster dictionary defines the word friend “as a person one knows well, and is fond of; intimate associated; a person on the same side in a struggle and a supporter.” YAHSHUA, as our Shepherd, is more than that to His sheep who seek Him; who have a relationship with Him, who walks daily close to Him, hearing first- hand from Him, reciprocating His love shown to each of us. Oh, if only His sheep realized how much He desires them to be close to Him! He speaks to His sheep and says, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away with Me. For behold, the winter is past (the winter of life in its troubles); the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land; the fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away (spring time of life after a hard winter). My Shepherd looks at me and says, Let Me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely (SS. 2). This is a beautiful relationship we can have with our Shepherd. Many of His sheep don’t know what a relationship with their Shepherd is or means. They think that it is through the doors of church and that’s it for the week when they will go back to church. They are content to hear the word second-hand; watered-down message, not knowing what they are missing for not walking close to Him, nor listening His voice.
The love YAHSHUA, as a Shepherd, shows for His sheep is greater than any love existing on earth; His love is perfect and complete; it is enduring and forever. He demonstrated His love for us when He laid down His life to give us life eternal; when He purchased us with His precious blood. But it didn’t finish here. When He left, He secured His love with the presence of His Holy Spirit to stay in us, sealing our redemption forever. He is our Counselor, our Teacher, our Guide, our Sanctifier, our Comforter, our Advocate, our Intercessor (Jn. 16:26). The Prophet Isaiah compares human behavior as that of sheep in our going astray. That gives us an understanding of our vulnerability, for being fearful, stupid, easily falling away from the Shepherd; we are needy and high maintenance. YAHSHUA took the tittle of shepherd to indicate our sheep like characteristics. David, when a shepherd boy, was a good shepherd, when he risked his life to save his sheep. He faced a lion and a bear and killed them both and snatched the sheep from their mouths. He is a type of YAHSHUA as our good Shepherd. YAHSHUA said, I came to save those who were lost. He said, What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray and gets lost, will he not leave the nine-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost? And if it should be that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. (Matt. 18:12-13).
YAHSHUA’S true sheep are His followers. According to His words, they will never listen to the voice of a stranger, for they do not recognize the stranger’s voice. Instead, they will run away from him; neither will they follow the world’s life’s style, for they are not of this world. YAHSHUA knows His sheep well and His sheep know Him too. But the sheep that walks far from YAHSHUA are the ones who will find themselves trapped in the things of the world. Like the prodigal son from the parable of comparison YAHSHUA told. Like a lost sheep, they will flip over without being able to get up, without the help of the Shepherd, who stands ready to rescue them. The unconditional love of the Shepherd will take them in His arms and bind their wounds and establish them once again, back in the fold. YAHSHUA’S true sheep were given Him by His Father. He said, I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. And no one is able to snatch them out of my hand; My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand; I and the Father are One (Jn.10:28-29). Then, we ask the question: Who is YAHSHUA’S true sheep? How does the world perceive them to be His true sheep? His true sheep are those who, when having sinned against Him, will repent and return to the Shepherd, like David, they will show contrition of heart; they will be known by the way they conduct themselves. They will be known by their good fruits.
How close are you to the Shepherd? Close enough to hear His voice? Or you haven’t been able to catch up with Him, because you are too busy? While Mary seated at the Lord’s feet listening to His teaching, Martha, her sister, was distracted with much serving. To Martha YAHSHUA warned, saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; but praised Mary, saying Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her (Luke 10:41b-42). Mary’s decision to be close to her Shepherd to listen to His voice carried an eternal value of weight, never to be forgotten. We can do the same.
THINK ABOUT IT!