Dec. 18, 2021
35And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
4Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
9Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
10Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
11And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
12And when ye come into an house, salute it.
13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
In both groups of verses, from chapters 9 and 10, shepherds and sheep are mentioned. I found this wonderful video regarding shepherds of Biblical times. http://www.redeemerofisrael.org/2020/12/who-were-shepherds.html
This tiny One in the manger is prophet, priest, and King – but He is also our Shepherd and we are His sheep. The shepherds of Jesus’ days on earth made sure the sheep had good grazing (He gives us the good words of the kingdom of heaven and later – His body and blood), protected the sheep from predators (Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.), and makes certain they have water (John 4:14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.)
Shepherds in the Old Testament were much the same and Jesus knows of 1Kings 22:17; Jud 11:19; Jer 23: 1-3; Zech 10:21). Remember what He said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (St. John 8:58). He knew we needed a shepherd; He came to be our Shepherd – as well as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Yet again, we see in Advent, in that preparation for the coming of the Christ child, we look back at what was before and we look forward to what will be.