if you want to experience what he meant
saying- 107: a kingdom shepherd.
(latest update: 30-11-2018)
The kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep.
One of them, the largest, went astray.
He left the ninety-nine sheep and looked for that one until he found it.
When he had gone to such trouble, he said to the sheep,
I care for you more than the ninety-nine.
Traditionally this parable has been treated as an allegory with God or Jesus as the Good
Shepherd who values every individual lost sinner over the mass of righteous ones, and who
brings him/her back on the right track. An allegoric story, perhaps based on Ezekiel 34:1-16,
the shepherd representing the “ Highest Being”, God.
The character in Jesus’ story is one who belonged to the group of “sinners”, one unclean,
who deserved no respect in ancient Jewish society, as his occupation was
“dishonourable” (Jeremias,1966). Guarding sheep was an “unclean” occupation.
In Ezekiel’ s text the Shepherd reigns as a King over his people and provides protection by his
Might. He is all powerful and deserves due respect, honor, praise, worship and thankfulness.
The shepherd here is the highest God of all.
In Jesus’ story the shepherd is one of the lowest of people not deserving the slightest respect,
while he devotes his life to animals. He is a servant, a servant of beasts. And when one walks away,
he has to go after it, serving the wellbeing of a single beast, rather than his own .
That the shepherd cared for the one more than he cared for the rest was probably added to
underline the focused dedication with which he practiced his "impure" job.
The parable relates to the distinction between living the kingdom according to Jesus, and
complying with traditional Hebrew faith. The parable may be degraded as “ depending on”
an OT text, but the way the allegory described there contrasts sharply with the manipulation into a metaphor by Jesus serving something quite the opposite, is innovative and absolutely brilliant!
Therefore, we may conclude that the idea that most of what Jesus said “was based on
OT scripture”, is a total misapprehension. He just used what was familiar to his public,
but in his own, purposeful way.
It is better to serve the least of man,
than to pursue one's own righteousness.