In this visual teaching image of the Shepherd we get to encounter our first ray of real hope all week. Jeremiah is indicting the shepherds (the spiritual leaders) of Israel for abandoning their post and allowing the sheep (God’s people) to be led into dangerous places of idolatry. He promises that He will punish the false teachers and salvage his flock.
There are two key lessons from this passage:
- Being a shepherd is a big responsibility that God does not take lightly. God will hold teachers and shepherds, the leaders of the church, to a high standard since they have direct influence over how people think about the nature of God. May we who hold this responsibility fall on our faces and ask God to work through us to bring glory to His name.
- We have hope in the fact that Jesus is our ultimate shepherd. There is only one true shepherd and the rest of us in leadership roles are “sheepherds” who are sheep that need to be led while we in turn are leading other sheep. Before you cast stones at a struggling church leader, realize that they have a sheep side as well. Make sure that you are focusing on the one true shepherd, Jesus, and find ways to lovingly support those whom God has called to serve as shepherds of the flock.