Summary: We do not like the idea of submission, but for the disciple of Jesus Christ, to answer His call is to submit to Him.
The Call to Discipleship: Submit
We do not like the idea of submitting to others.
Submission in the sport of wrestling is a loss.
Submission to our bosses sometimes creates resentment.
Submission to people in power can be unpleasant.
Submission means we release our power, our self, our pride.
We do not like the idea of submission, but for the disciple of Jesus Christ, to answer His call is to submit to Him.
As we look at Four Calls To Discipleship we have talked about the call to love God and others, and the call to commit. The Call to Submit - to allow someone else to be in charge. It is important to know the One to whom we submit.
In 2 Samuel 5:1-5 there is a story of victory and celebration. David has been appointed King of Israel. He had been chosen from the fields a long time ago. Now Saul is dead and David will be allowed to be King. David’s first move is to bring the Ark of the Covenant - the presence of God - back into Jerusalem where it belongs. (2 Samuel 6:1-5) The Celebrating was hearty, ecstatic, joyful. Israel has a King they can love and to whom they submit. The imagery in this text gives us some insight into the disciple’s relationship with Jesus Christ.
1. The Shepherd King in the Old Testament
2 Samuel 5:2 “You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will be ruler over Israel.”
The idea of shepherding would come natural to David. Shepherding father’s sheep, Samuel called him to be king. Shepherding is all about feeding the lambs and the sheep, bringing them to good pasture lands and water, grooming and clipping them, delivering new lambs, leading them and teaching them to stay together, going off after wandering lost ones, and protecting the sheep in the field and in the fold. (Simpson)
The Shepherd King Imagery in Prophecy
Micah 5:4 He will stand and shepherd them in the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord his God….
Ezekiel 34:23 I will establish over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will shepherd them. He will tend them himself and will be their shepherd.
Matthew 2:6 And you, Bethlehem … out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”
These statements foreshadow the kind of King Jesus would be. Disciples submitting to Jesus are pictured as sheep being in submission to a caring gentle shepherd.
2. HOW DOES JESUS SHEPHERD US?
He Watches Over Us
Shepherds keep a wide-open eye, constantly searching the horizon for the possible approach of enemies. There were floods, animals, birds of prey, beasts of prey, humans.
Jesus knows we face an enemy we cannot defeat.
John 10:10 A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
In every struggle, we have a Shepherd who is aware of our pain and hardship, cares, moves in our behalf.
He Guides Us
Sheep cannot go to predetermined places by themselves. They cannot start out in the morning in search of pasture and then come home at evening time. They have, apparently, no sense of direction. The greenest pasture may be only a few miles away, but the sheep left to themselves cannot find it. Where the shepherd leads, the sheep will go.
Psalm 23:2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. We depend on the Word of God and the knowledge of His ways to guide us through the difficulties of life.
He Heals us
It is not uncommon for there to be sheep who are lame and ailing, and upon this invalid, the shepherd bestowed more abundant care. The nature of his calling compelled a shepherd to be a doctor and a nurse.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus the Good Shepherd is a healer. Sometimes physically, always spiritually.
He Provides for us.
The feeding of the sheep is an essential duty of the shepherd. Sheep cannot feed themselves nor water themselves. They must be led to water and pasture.
Isaiah 40:11 He protects his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them in the fold of his garment. He gently leads those that are nursing.
Jesus claims to be the Good Shepherd, and one of the grounds of His claim is that He feeds us … who knows the many ways that Jesus brings us nourishment.
He Seeks Us Out and Saves Us
Sheep easily get lost. A sheep will keep his nose to the ground following the strip of greenest grass, little by little separating himself from his companions, until at last, his companions are completely out of sight and the poor isolated animal doesn’t how where he is. When once he realizes his lost condition, he rushes around without direction. A lost sheep does not get home.