Jesus - The Promised Shepherd

Dr. Steve Viars December 20, 2018 Matthew 2:1-6

Matthew 2:2 - Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.

Daniel 1:17-21 - As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams. Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.

Matthew 2:3 - When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Matthew 2:4 - Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.   

Matthew 2:6 - And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.

3 lessons from the promise that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem

I. The Promise Displays God’s Complete Sovereignty

A. He knew the exact location

Matthew 2:6 - And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah…

2 Peter 1:16 - For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…   

2 Peter 1:19-21 - So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

B. He purposely chose and elevated an obscure place

2 Samuel 7:12 - When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.

2 Samuel 7:16 - Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.

2 Samuel 7:18-22 - Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?  And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord God, for You have spoken also of the house of Your servant concerning the distant future. And this is the custom of man, O Lord God. Again what more can David say to You? For You know Your servant, O Lord God! For the sake of Your word, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness to let Your servant know. For this reason You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”

II. The Promise Points to God’s Compassionate Provision

A. One who would rule

Matthew 2:2 - Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?

Genesis 49:10 - The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Matthew 2:6 - …For out of you shall come forth a Ruler…

Romans 10:9-10 - …that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

B. One who would rule compassionately as a shepherd

2 Samuel 5:2 - Previously, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and in. And the Lord said to you, you will shepherd My people Israel, and you will be a ruler over Israel.

Isaiah 40:11 - Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

1. with provision

Psalm 23:1-3 - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Isaiah 40:11 - Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

Revelation 7:17 - …for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.

2. with protection

John 10:11 - I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

John 10:14 - I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,

John 10:27-29 - My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

3. with purification

1 Peter 2:24-25 - …and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

III. The Promise Reveals Three Possible Responses

A. Hostility

Matthew 2:16 - Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.

B. Indifference

C. Worship

Matthew 2:11 - After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Dr. Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video