Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Yeshua -- The Good Shepherd of Israel
He said, "I was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of the House of Israel" -- Matthew 15:24, Jewish New Testament.
by Kathleen Gage
In John chapter 10, the Messiah is informing us that he is the Shepherd of the sheep. Reading from verse 1,
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of, the sheep. To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spoke Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spoke unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, l am the door of the sheep."
When we think of what the Messiah said concerning himself, that he was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, that is a significant statement. Yeshua is stating here that he is the door of the sheepfold and he is talking about HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL.
In John 10:10-11,
"The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they (the word 'they' is important. The 'they' the Messiah is talking about are the people of the House of Israel, his sheep)... that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep."
Turning to Ezekiel 34:2-4,
"Son of man prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, Thus says the LORD God to the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, you kill them that are fed, but you feed not the flock. The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost."
Instead of warning His people of their lack of faith in YEHOVAH God and His promises -- and guiding them as a good shepherd should -- they remained silent, even helping to persecute YEHOVAH's prophets when they, fulfilling their commission, tried to guide the people back into the fold of YEHOVAH God's mercy.
Returning to Ezekiel 34:11-12,
"For thus says the LORD God; Behold I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day."
So the Hand of YEHOVAH God was moving to preserve His people and gather them to a place spoken of through the prophet Nathan to David long ago. Therefore, we have an appointed place in the west for His people to come. A place of safety. Verse 16, "I will seek that which was lost." No wonder Yeshua the Messiah stated emphatically "I was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of the House of Israel," Matthew 15:24.
With the focus upon the word "they" and realizing that "they" are the people Yeshua is concerned about, let us return to John 21:15-16. The Messiah is speaking to Peter,
"Love you me more than these? He said to him, yes Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him Feed my lambs. He said to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, love you me? He said to him, Yes, Lord; you know that I love you. He said to him Feed my sheep."
The Messiah asked the question of Peter three times and he was very upset. But what Yeshua was emphasizing strongly to Peter -- and indeed the rest of the disciples -- was that they were to be given the important task of seeking out the lost sheep of the House of Israel with the good news of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. To "feed my sheep."
Some of these lost sheep were in Asia Minor, including Galatia. Peter, writing his first epistle, mentions Galatia, l Peter 1:1. How they arrived there in the first place was that the kings in Asia Minor were fighting wars against each other and it was known that the best fighting men were the Celts. One of the kings engaged them as mercenaries and the Celts were successful. After the battles were over and they received their payment, they did not leave but sent for their families and came to live in Galatia. It was said by Jerome, the writer of the Latin Bible, that in his travels through Asia Minor the Celt dialect he heard in Galatia was very similar to the Celt dialect found in Gaul. The House of Israel lost their ancient name and were known by many different names, including Celt, on their travels to the appointed place in the British isles.
In the passage of time the message was brought to the Celtic people in these lands through Joseph of Arimathea and later through the Apostles. Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, circa AD 300, stated the Apostles came to the Isles Britannic and preached the Gospel to them. So the Celtic people were amongst the first to receive the good news of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. When they heard this Gospel they could not do other than accept it wholeheartedly, for, as Yeshua the Messiah has already explained, My sheep know my voice. They were impelled to accept their Shepherd, the Messiah of YEHOVAH God.
It can be seen from the reading in John 10 that Yeshua is both true shepherd of the sheep and the door of the sheepfold. By concentrating on the word "they" we realize it means the people of the House of Israel and Yeshua the Messiah is their Shepherd. In Ezekiel 34:30-31, the prophet refers to the people of Israel as sheep,
"Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the House of Israel are my people, says the LORD God. And you my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the LORD God. "
So we have in symbolism the way YEHOVAH God our Heavenly Father regards His people of Israel. They are lost sheep and He wants to find them. So He commissioned a Shepherd to seek them out; to minister to them. And that Shepherd (Yeshua the Messiah) was given twelve men -- also from out of the world. And they were obedient to their master and also carried this wonderful message to the lost sheep of the House of Israel wherever they were scattered for they knew where they were to be found. Yeshua prayed and thanked his Heavenly Father for the men YEHOVAH God had given him, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me. " And "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." John 17:9 and 20. Indeed Yeshua the Messiah is the Good Shepherd of the House of Israel!
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