4th of Easter – Voices of Strangers and Shepherds…
Jesus made another attempt to get the attention of the Pharisees at the start of chapter ten in John. Recall he had a dust-up with them over the man born blind and then told them they were blind.
Here, he tells them they are idolaters (“stranger’s voice” = “strange” gods before me…) and essentially false shepherds. Ezekiel went after the political leaders of his day (c. 34) contrasting how God was to deal with the sheep, Israel. What you think?
Ezekiel 34:2–8 Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord God: Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? 3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. 4 You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with no one to search or seek for them. 7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As I live, says the Lord God, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild animals, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep;
Ezekiel 34:10–12 Thus says the Lord God, I am against the shepherds; and I will demand my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, so that they may not be food for them. 11 For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. 12 As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
Ezekiel 34:15–17 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice. 17 As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats:
Ezekiel 34:19f And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? 20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
Ezekiel 34:22 I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
Ezekiel 34:31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture and I am your God, says the Lord God.