Today, we add verse 11 to our Isaiah 40 prophecies. We already know this King will have a herald (40:3-5), His arrival will be GOOD NEWS to shout about (40:9), and He will come in power, might and blessing (40:10), but now we learn He will also have a Shepherd’s heart.
There is simply no better metaphor in Scripture than comparing us to sheep. Helpless, fearful, defenseless, and needy, sheep are the only animal on the planet who cannot survive (much less thrive) without a shepherd – and the same is true for us. Left to our own ways and our own paths, we self-destruct. We need a Good Shepherd.
Our Good Shepherd knows what it’s like to walk around on all fours as one of us. How fitting the angels first came to shepherds tending their flocks to proclaim the good news! How fitting Jesus was born in a stable full of animals! How fitting a feeding trough had to be used for His bed!
Yes, Mary did have a little lamb, but her lamb grew into the Good Shepherd – “the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls” (1 Peter 2:25 NASB). And oh, how we prosper in His Presence (Psalm 23)!
Our Good Shepherd loves us so much He “carries” us “close to His heart” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV). Let that sink in. You know the feeling you get when you hold one of your children or grandchildren in your arms and pull them in close to comfort them or tell them how much you love them? That’s how Jesus feels about you. He treasures such loving embraces with each one of His lambs.
Jesus’ great love for us is what compelled Him to be both Shepherd and Sheep – both The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and The Good Shepherd who willingly lays down His life for His sheep (John 10:11). Stay close to the Good Shepherd.