In Part Two of this series on The Good Shepherd, I discuss more about Joseph and the term given to him in the Hebrew Scriptures as the Ro’eh et (The Shepherd). This is because Joseph inherently had the heart of a Shepherd, something that set him apart from his brothers. For that, his brothers threw him in the Pit and tried to kill him. Genesis Rabba expounds on Joseph’s ordeal a bit more than the Hebrew Scriptures does.
To better understand the ancient concept of Shepherding, I also make references to ancient shepherding contracts. Such as ones discovered in The Mari Documents, unearthed in the Tel Hariri desert. I also divided Shepherds into categories such as Owner/Operator, Family Business and Hired-Shepherd to better appreciate responsibility and accountability at every level.
Jesus referred to himself as The Good Shepherd, and stated he did not lose any sheep, except one, so the scripture could be fulfilled. Jesus in turn left the responsibility for caring for his followers to his disciples and those that came after them. I likened those that labour in the Kingdom, God’s business as being like Hired-Shepherds. Which should conclude in Part Three with a better understanding of the function of Shepherds (Pastors) in the New Testament.