How do you picture Jesus?

There are a lot of different ways that the Bible helps us picture Jesus, and each of those pictures teaches us something about him.

One picture of Jesus that really resonates with me is the Shepherd. I like the thought of Jesus gently picking me up, placing me over his shoulder, and carrying me safely home. I like the picture of Jesus coming after me when I’ve wandered and bringing me back to safety. And I like the fact that Jesus will lead me to pastures and quiet waters, supplying all my needs.

But do you know what else I like? I like the fact that shepherds fight for their sheep and defend them. I love the picture of Jesus as my Shepherd, swinging his staff as hard as he can, crushing the wolves that want to attack and destroy me while I’m off in the corner somewhere as a little lamb, safe and secure because my God fiercely fights to protect me.

Just listen to this: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them” (Ezekiel 34:11,12). “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. [The enemies] you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13,14). He’s not just a gentle, loving Shepherd; he’s also a fierce, protecting Shepherd who saves his people. Warrior Shepherd Jesus—that picture is so comforting!

Consider just a few of the things that make Warrior Shepherd Jesus so amazing:

  • Jesus jumps in to get me out of the mess I’ve created. He didn’t have to. He could have left me in my sins and the problems I make for myself. But he decided to rescue me—and the entire world!
  • Jesus never gets tired of rescuing me. I would if I was him. But thankfully, Jesus isn’t like me. His protecting love never runs out. He just keeps coming back to get me out of trouble, to deliver me from danger, and to shield me with his love.
  • Jesus crushed the devil for me. The Bible tells us the devil is an incredibly powerful, fierce, and evil being who, like a ferocious wolf, wants to devour and destroy me (and you too). I am no match for the devil (and neither are you). But the Bible also tells us that Jesus is an incredibly powerful, fierce, and holy Savior who, like a Warrior Shepherd, singlehandedly destroyed the devil by his death on a cross and his rising from the dead. He’s the Shepherd who fights by laying down his life, only to take it up again. He’s the Shepherd who crushes my enemy for me.

There are so many pictures the Bible gives us to help us see and appreciate who Jesus is. Warrior Shepherd is a pretty awesome one.

Which pictures of Jesus really resonate with you?

 

Kurt Wetzel lives with his wife and three children in beautiful Boise, Idaho. He is honored to shepherd part of God’s flock under the Good Shepherd at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church.

 

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