Guest Contributor Seth Postel
"I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd"
Yeshua's description of himself as the Good Shepherd and the people of Israel as sheep are firmly rooted in the imagery and promises of the Old Testament. These biblical themes were well known and extremely comforting to the people of Israel (see Numbers 27:16-17; Ezekiel 34; Psalm 23). What comes as a huge surprise is to hear Yeshua speaking about his tender love for "other sheep" for whom he would also lay down his life, and whom he would also gather into the "flock." Yeshua is speaking about the Gentiles as full participants in and partakers of the promises of God. Just as Yeshua is zealous for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he is no less passionate about regathering the lost sheep of the nations of the world. There are no second class sheep, and there aren't two separate flocks. We are one flock, equally loved, cared for, and protected by our Good Shepherd! "Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand" (Psalm 95:6-7).