He shall feed His flock like a shepherd. He shall gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (Isa 40:11).
The Lord Himself is the greatest example of the work of the shepherd. Notice that “He shall feed … gather … carry… lead ….” There are three pictures suggested in the text. We see a shepherd in his activity feeding the sheep; in his affection picking up and carrying the newborn lambs; and in his attention to the special needs of the sheep. He is sensitive to those with young. What is the greatest need of the sheep? Evidently it is the need for food. They must be kept from starving!
What is the greatest need of the young if they are to be kept from straying? It is the need to be affectionately gathered and carried in the early days. What are the special needs of those with young? Jacob, a shepherd said, “The children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me. If men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die … I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure” (Gen 33:13-14). Sheep are not to be driven but are to be led. The Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is the perfect example of this (John 10:4). How great is His work as a Shepherd! How clear the example for those who would shepherd the flock.