He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom…
Of no one can these words be used with such exquisite appropriateness as of that "great Shepherd," that "good Shepherd" of the sheep, whom we call Lord and Master. They express -
I. HIS PRACTICAL KINDNESS. "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd." He will be to them, in all kindly service, what the shepherd is to his sheep.
1. He provides with all-nourishing truth.
2. He leads in the paths of righteousness.
3. He defends from spiritual perils.
II. HIS TENDERNESS. "He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom." He is tender in his treatment of:
1. The young. They may well sing, "Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me," etc. He who so graciously received the little children, who took them up in his arms and blessed them (Mark 10.) will regard with truest tenderness the children of his people now.
2. The sick and suffering. As tenderly as the pitiful mother waits upon her sick child, will he sympathize with those of his disciples who are afflicted in body.
3. The sorrowful. He is the "High Priest touched with a feeling of our infirmities," holding and healing with delicate hand the wounded and suffering spirit.
III. HIS CONSIDERATENESS. "And shall gently lead those that are with young." He will suit his step to the pace of those who have to fall behind. No hard iron measure has he in his hand; he requires of us only according to the strength we have. The shorter and slenderer service of the unprivileged, of the burdened, of the feeble, of the "little ones" of his flock is quite as acceptable to the considerate and patient Saviour as the longer and larger service of the privileged and the strong. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.