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Switch to Forum Live View This week's follow up article on last weeks helping sheep who have strayed
9 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 1:54PM #1
Posts: 14,082
This is last week's Watchtower Study - I am starting it off with some of my comments, contexts of Scriptures cited and a couple of cross references - paragraph 1 for starters!

Theme Scripture (with context)

(Luke 15:1-7) . . .Now all the tax collectors and the sinners kept drawing near to him to hear him. 2 Consequently both the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering, saying: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then he spoke this illustration to them, saying: 4 “What man of YOU with a hundred sheep, on losing one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine behind in the wilderness and go for the lost one until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it he puts it upon his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he gets home he calls his friends and his neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 I tell YOU that thus there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who have no need of repentance.

1. How has Jesus proved to be a loving shepherd?

(Hebrews 13:20-21) . . .Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an everlasting covenant, our Lord Jesus, 21 equip YOU with every good thing to do his will, performing in us through Jesus Christ that which is well-pleasing in his sight; to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

My comments on this Scripture and paragraph question:

A. Jesus provided the blood of an everlasting covenant for the benefit of all who accept his ransom sacrifice.

B. Jehovah provides through Jesus Christ every good thing to do Jehovah’s will - including this meeting!

C. Jehovah performs through Jesus Christ that which is well pleasing to God - including caring for sheep who have strayed.

(Matthew 2:1-6) 2 After Jesus had been born in Beth´le·hem of Ju·de´a in the days of Herod the king, look! astrologers from eastern parts came to Jerusalem, 2 saying: “Where is the one born king of the Jews? For we saw his star [when we were] in the east, and we have come to do him obeisance.” 3 At hearing this King Herod was agitated, and all Jerusalem along with him; 4 and on gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They said to him: “In Beth´le·hem of Ju·de´a; for this is how it has been written through the prophet, 6 ‘And you, O Beth´le·hem of the land of Judah, are by no means the most insignificant [city] among the governors of Judah; for out of you will come forth a governing one, who will shepherd my people, Israel.’”

A. Jesus was foretold to be born in Bethlehem:

“And you, O Beth´le·hem Eph´ra·thah, the one too little to get to be among the thousands of Judah, from you there will come out to me the one who is to become ruler in Israel, whose origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite.

What an act of love to leave his home for untold ages to come to this tiny speck in our universe to provide a loving example of loving shepherding and to die for our sins!

B. Matthew here besides quoting Micah 5:2 adds this from a cross-reference: “who will shepherd my people Israel.” The cross reference is concerning David who prefigured (as a type/antitype) Jesus:

(2 Samuel 5:2) . . .And Jehovah proceeded to say to you, ‘You yourself will shepherd my people Israel, and you yourself will become leader over Israel.’”

(Matthew 15:24) . . .In answer he said: “I was not sent forth to any but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

A. This reflects Jehovah’s concern for his beloved people Israel who had strayed. I reminds me of our book/Bible study concerning Hosea - how Jehovah asked Hosea to take back his adulterous wife - an object lesson that showed Jehovah’s love for his unfaithful people Israel.

B. The context shows Jesus’ love and pity for all people led him to make an exception in the Phoenician woman’s case:

(Matthew 15:21-28) 21 Leaving there, Jesus now withdrew into the parts of Tyre and Si´don. 22 And, look! a Phoe·ni´cian woman from those regions came out and cried aloud, saying: “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David. My daughter is badly demonized.” 23 But he did not say a word in answer to her. So his disciples came up and began to request him: “Send her away; because she keeps crying out after us.” 24 In answer he said: “I was not sent forth to any but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 When the woman came she began doing obeisance to him, saying: “Lord, help me!” 26 In answer he said: “It is not right to take the bread of the children and throw it to little dogs.” 27 She said: “Yes, Lord; but really the little dogs do eat of the crumbs falling from the table of their masters.” 28 Then Jesus said in reply to her: “O woman, great is your faith; let it happen to you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour on.

This also reminds me of the Rich Man and Lazarus parable - how the lowly Jews were spiritually sick because they were given mere crumbs of spiritual food by the money loving religious leaders - notable the Pharisees.

(John 10:7-18) 7 Therefore Jesus said again: “Most truly I say to YOU, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All those that have come in place of me are thieves and plunderers; but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved, and he will go in and out and find pasturage. 10 The thief does not come unless it is to steal and slay and destroy. I have come that they might have life and might have it in abundance. 11 I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep. 12 The hired man, who is no shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong as his own, beholds the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them— 13 because he is a hired man and does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the fine shepherd, and I know my sheep and my sheep know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my soul in behalf of the sheep. 16 “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd. 17 This is why the Father loves me, because I surrender my soul, in order that I may receive it again. 18 No man has taken it away from me, but I surrender it of my own initiative. I have authority to surrender it, and I have authority to receive it again. The commandment on this I received from my Father.”

[Note: vs. 11,15 are cited - as usual I posted context]

A. Main points (v.11,15) - Jesus surrendered his soul unto death for the sheep - which is the supreme act of love:

(John 15:12-14) 12 This is my commandment, that YOU love one another just as I have loved YOU. 13 No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends. 14 YOU are my friends if YOU do what I am commanding YOU.

To be continued
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 1:59PM #2
Posts: 14,082
Tomorrow we study the follow up article: "Help them return without delay!" You are all invited!

This time I am starting on paragraphs 10,11:

What reasoning may be effective in trying to help one who had a different understanding of some Bible teaching?

One is to ask where they received the knowledge of the Scriptures which they do have? In other words - the joys they had in having spiritual feasts - food at the proper time:

(Matthew 24:45-47) . . .“Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. 47 Truly I say to YOU, He will appoint him over all his belongings.

And consider with them what happened to some concerning a difficult Bible teaching:

(John 6:53) Accordingly Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to YOU, Unless YOU eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, YOU have no life in yourselves.

(John 6:66) Owing to this many of his disciples went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him.

Of course, we need to prove the truth to doubters - and take the time to lovingly share the above Bible accounts and cross references with them!

For example - could they see how enemies of Jesus could have twisted what Jesus taught into saying he taught cannibalism? Similar false, twisted, charges have been brought against the faithful and discreet slave by those who misunderstand or worse: choose to twist the truth into lies and deceptions.

You might ask them: do you know why Jesus sometimes taught in such a way that some would be stumbled?

I will stop there and see who comments on this!
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