The Shepherd and the Sheep
Each year I read about Jesus’ journey, from His entry into Jerusalem through the Resurrection. And each year I understand more of what it all means for me today. This Easter was no different.
I see Jesus riding a colt past cheering crowds. I hear Peter and John tell a man “the Teacher” and His disciples will celebrate the Passover at his house. I recline with them at the table for the last supper.
As I follow them to the Mount of Olives I hear Jesus say the disciples will abandon Him. But what He says next catches me by surprise. For it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” 1
We cannot claim to stand with Jesus…
I’ve read that passage many times. But being focused on Jesus’ charge and Peter’s boast that he would never leave Him, I had missed those last few words…the sheep of the flock will be scattered.
This is a part of Zechariah’s prophecy, specifically, that when the Messiah dies, His followers will scatter.2 Jesus refers to this immediately after saying the disciples would desert Him. And they did.
They left Him alone to be arrested. They left Him alone to be falsely accused. They left Him alone before an angry crowd demanding His death. They left Him alone to be crucified. They left Him alone to do what only He alone could do.
…when we choose to leave His side.
The world of the disciples had turned upside down. What they hoped for had been taken from them. They were shocked, angry and confused. They no longer knew what to believe or who to trust. Most of all, they were afraid of dying. And they scattered.
Sound familiar? Last year the coronavirus struck and the world turned upside down. Hopes and dreams were lost with the dead and dying. People were shocked, angry and confused. Many believed nothing and trusted no one. And they scattered.
The disciples lost sight of Jesus. For a time, they thought only of themselves and were not the people He had called them to be. Has the same been true of us? I pray that we will remember Him and follow Him, not just for a day but always. And may we never be scattered again!
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read Matthew 26:31. (2) Read Zechariah 13:7-9.
Pictures: Banner Photo: Gethsemane Mob by James Dalrymple. 1st Photo: Jesus and the Disciples at Gethsemane, Church of Jesus Christ. 2nd Photo: Jesus Abandoned, Church of Jesus Christ. 3rd Photo: Adapted from the cover of the Bible Verse Cover Notebook (2019).