When He looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. Matthew 9:36
Jesus was overwhelmed with compassionate pity for the people. His response echoes the deep mercy of God, often described in the Old Testament.
- Ezekiel compared Israel to sheep without a shepherd.
Ezekiel 34:3-6 You drink the milk, you make clothes from the wool, you roast the lambs, but you don’t feed the sheep. You don’t build up the weak ones, don’t heal the sick, don’t doctor the injured, don’t go after the strays, don’t look for the lost. You bully and badger them. And now they’re scattered every which way because there was no shepherd–scattered and easy pickings for wolves and coyotes. Scattered–my sheep!–exposed and vulnerable across mountains and hills. My sheep scattered all over the world, and no one out looking for them!
2. Jesus came to be the Shepherd, the one who could show people how to avoid life’s pitfalls.
John 10:14-15 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary.”
In the depths of our mess, we are like sheep, “weary and scattered. “The Bible tells us the True Shepherd, Jesus Christ, views this human with deep compassion. Twelve Step recovery allows us to confront compassionately but firmly our own mess and lack of control.