Lessons From a Shepherd: Tenderness of the Shepherd

He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.  Isaiah 40:11

Many artists have painted pictures of Jesus holding a lamb in His arms. Interestingly, there is no reference in the New Testament to Jesus holding a lamb, though it is easy enough to imagine the Good Shepherd doing so.

Perhaps the idea of Jesus holding a lamb arose from the image of God in Isaiah 40:11. In words of comfort for Israel, God is described as gathering the lambs in His arms, embracing them, and gently leading the mothers “who are with young.” It is a tender image of care and concern—an image that was carried forward by Jesus. When speaking to His disciples of God’s care and provision, Jesus referred to them as “little flock” (Luke 12:32). His disciples were like lambs in terms of their faith—young, mistake-prone, and dependent. Yet He told them that God the Father had given the kingdom of God to them—something they would understand better in time. Jesus is a tender and compassionate Shepherd, ready to embrace His flock.

Take advantage of Jesus’ tenderness as your Good Shepherd. Go to Him and find rest for your soul (Matthew 11:28-30).

Faith is not a distant view, but a warm embrace of Christ.  John Calvin

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