Summary: The reason for the broken covenant symbolically depicted in the Zechariah breaking the staff of grace is now more fully described. It becomes painfully clear that not only did they reject the Son of God but they mocked the character and glory of God incar
Zechariah 11: 11-17
TRUE SHEPHERDS AND FALSE SHEPHERDS - PART II
[Matthew 27: 1-10]
God gave His Shepherd two staffs, one called Favor (or grace) and the other Union. The Messiah spoke compassionately to them and opposed the false shepherds. He wanted to unite them in the Father and pour His grace upon them. What was the result? The people detested Him so He finally grew weary of them.
To signify the breaking of His old covenant, He broke the staff, Favor, and asked the people to pay Him what His services had been worth. The people gave Him 30 pieces of silver.
1st We Saw The Pasture Devastated 11:1-3,
2nd The Different Shepherds 11: 4-10,
Now, the 3rd point of chapter 11,
THE GOOD SHEPHERD REJECTED, 11-14.
The reason for the broken covenant symbolically depicted in the Zechariah breaking the staff of favor (grace) is now more fully described. It becomes painfully clear that not only did they reject the Son of God but they mocked the character and glory of God incarnate.
Verse 11 prophesies that a faithful remnant would recognize the Messiah and realize He was carrying out the Word of the Lord. "So it was broken on that day, and thus the afflicted of the flock who were watching Me realized that it was the Word of the LORD."
"On that day"- the day of Christ's crucifixion- the act previously symbolized by the breaking up of the staff actually happened and annulled the old covenant. The faithful few, again called the afflicted of the flock, saw the historical fulfillment of this prediction the day Christ died. In John 19:23-37, John, one of the faithful few, repeatedly uses the phrase words "that the Scriptures might be fulfilled." Certainly he along with the other afflicted of the flock "realized" God's great plan being fulfilled.
Notice those who recognized the fulfillment of "the Word of the LORD" are called "The afflicted of the flock" as in verse 7. Those that are pastured by the Good Shepherd and see the fulfillment of God's Word in the death of Christ are often afflicted in this world. For if the world system crucified our Lord will it love us who are becominglike Him? (See John 16:33, Jn.15:17-21. )
Though great men did not understand Christ's death as a divine sentence (Jn. 19:10-11), yet the disciples of Christ understood that no man could take His life from Him.
It is the broken and hurting who delight more in God's Word and God's ways, and here again they are described as watching Messiah (Gen. 30:3) and realizing. Those that regard God closely have deep spiritual insight. They realize that the crucifixion of Christ was "The Word of the Lord" and not just an unfortunate event or turn of bad luck.
Still today we, the afflicted of the flock, must turn our eyes upon Jesus if we would realize that the Word of God is being fulfilled.
The prophet goes back in verse 12 to bring out in greater detail what was involved in the Jews' hatred of the Shepherd the LORD sent to them. "And I said to them,"If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind (cease)!" So they weighed out 30 shekels of silver as my wages."
"Give Me my wages" refers to the severance of relationship. He (Zechariah and Jesus, Mt. 27: 1-10) was willing to go on only if they wanted to follow the Lord. Here the people demonstrate their appreciation to the Good Shepherd for His care of them. The Good Shepherd desired His sheep, Israel, to either follow Him because He was faithful in His pastoral labors or to terminate the relationship. The Shepherd even questions whether the people will acknowledge any obligation by asking, "If it is good in you eyes, give Me My pay." But their eyes were blind to the Good Shepherd's shepherding as being beneficial. Those that separate themselves from Christ are not forced to, they chose to separate themselves.
The Good Shepherd is saying that He will terminate His shepherding relationship with them if they do not think it worth the cost of following Him. There is great cost in following Christ (Lk. 14:25-35) and those that follow Christ must be willing to pay it for He is worthy of all the cost that obedience to Him brings.
The second half of the Good Shepherd's statement is, "If not, never mind," or just end it. If the people do not recognize the great benefits of His Shepherding don't bother paying Him. The wages of Christ's barter economy are repentance, faith, a pure heart, humble obedience and grateful love. Although the Good Shepherd has every right and ability to demand His wages, He never does. God places right and wrong in front of us and bids us by our free will to choose the good, to choose to follow Him.