Text: But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel. Matthew 2:6 (NKJV emphasis mine).
We are told King Herod was deeply agitated and troubled by the birth of Jesus. Why, what is going on here? Why is this king who was so feared, shaking with his own fear and rage as the scribes read about the coming of a new kind of ruler? Well, He is a “Shepherd.” A what? A Shepherd? Really? Is this a joke? No, not at all, and Herod seemed to be grasping the danger of a ruler who would “shepherd.” Can you imagine the impact of being cared for, protected and loved by your Ruler? Greater still, what if this love would spill over and capture the hearts of people? They might be willing to surrender their personal kingdoms and lay down their lives for a kingdom larger than “Self?” How dangerous that would be to the “Self-Ruler.” What a concept of a “Ruler,” what a Jesus…what a God!
The “self-ruler” survives purely through repression and fear while the Shepherd-Ruler reigns through relationship and faith. Relationship is powerful. It replaces fear with faith, obligation with dedication, and force with freedom. Perhaps it is because relationship changes the heart while repression can at most control the head. There is a big difference between heart cleansing and brain washing. Changed hearts can really mess up “self kingdom” agendas. Perhaps that is why there is so much effort to eliminate Jesus from government affairs…and individual affairs as well.
Might I share one more observation? Could it be that earthly kingdoms are simply the reflection of individual kingdoms? What if your self-rule were given over the to The Shepherd’s rule? After the Wise Men knelt before Jesus, they were told to not go back to the Herod they had left…and they listened. Wise men and women will do well kneeling before the “Ruler who will shepherd.” I have to tell you though, you may be captured…by His love; and perfect love casts out fear. You likely won’t be going back to the old.
from "Your father's heart"