Whenever a world leader gets ready to travel, the protocols and advance teams are a thing to behold. For instance Queen of England travels with massive luggage, four different outfits per day; her press/publicity people; doctors; nurses; special dietary counsel and a whole lot more!
Whenever a modern US president travels either to a foreign trip or a fundraiser in Hollywood, the modus operandi is the same – forty limousines; fighter jets; C-130 transport planes; support staff etc etc. Both of these two highest profile world leaders’ travel costs their countries run sometimes into the 10’s of millions of dollars, depending on the length and distance of the travel.
When the Creator of all of this; the Creator of Life; the Creator of the Universe and galaxies outside of our own; the Ancient of Eternal Days….when He decided to come to the earth; coming off the Throne of Heaven, He had no sanitized hospital room; no heated blanket and no doctor or midlife to deliver Him.
The real Commander in Chief of the Universe, the Lord of Hosts and Heaven’s Armies which cannot be defeated was not born into a religious family; a wealthy family or a famous family. The King of Heaven was not even revealed to the religious leaders of Jerusalem but rejects and outcasts whom those self-righteous priests did not even allow to come into the House of the Lord (the Temple).
Jesus Christ, the Owner of All those Titles and He Who will overrule and judge kings, presidents, chief justices and all mankind with an iron rod, revealed Himself to create a new paradigm! This paradigm involved outcasts, the Shepherds of Bethlehem becoming under-shepherds to the Chief Shepherd!
This could only make sense in the Awesome Mind of God! Why the Shepherds and not the Religious Temple trained Priest? Well, go back to Isaiah 53: …”All we like sheep have gone astray”. As smart as we think we are, we are dumb, single minded (with our heads down, instead of looking up) sheep in need of a shepherd. As we see from my previous post on the Shepherds of Bethlehem, these men were a different breed.
The characteristics of a Judean shepherd were not very flattering. The corrupt priests in the Temple in Jerusalem actually considered these shepherds dishonest; untrustworthy; unclean and just plain disgusting (and a lot, not all, were not nice people). They had to be kept out of the city, even though they provided all the lambs for the Temple Sacrifice, because of uncleanliness, under the Law of Moses.
The Lord looked at these shepherds from the Gospels and saw people like you and I – unclean (yes) but with potential. These hardworking shepherds had to be on point 24/7/365.
Sheep did not take Sunday morning off for coffee and donuts before singing three and out hymns, with an okay sermon and two pastoral prayers. Sheep were constantly getting stuck in the brush; falling down into creeks; getting attacked by wolves; or even stolen from their herds by renegades or robbers. If you look at the description of what these hard-working men had to do, you can almost say things are not much different in the church today!
These were and are the qualities Jesus, One Third of the Triune God, looks at when choosing an under-shepherd to represent Him - The Chief Shepherd. These are the qualities of a man (and pastors are supposed to be men, in order to obey the Scriptures) who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and get in the trenches to help rescue the flock. In a sense these are the qualities of a man who is supposed to look like the King of All Eternity Who lowered Himself to be born in a dirty cold cave over 2000 years ago.
So what happened....at least in the West, where the Gospel was sent out to first, via Paul, Peter and John? How did the still in force concept of the "Poimenes" of Bethlehem (Shepherd-Pastor) become more celebrity... more CEO of a church... more manager of an uninspiring Sunday morning service which is meeting almost no one's Spiritual needs....more of an insulated form of royalty, not much different from those same priests which the Lord wanted nothing to do with on that cold Shepherd's field.
What happened to cause Chief Shepherd Jesus Christ's own under-shepherds to be viewed in a favorable light by less and less people each year?
NEXT: WHY ONLY 47% OF AMERICANS TRUST THE CLERGY/PASTORATE