FOR FRIDAY TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 40:1-11
“Like a shepherd he takes care of his flock. He gathers the lambs in his arms. He carries them in his arms. He gently helps the sheep and their lambs.” (Isaiah 40:11; GOD’S WORD Translation)
One of favorite pictures of Jesus is of him gentle holding a little lamb in a warm embrace. Chaim Bentorah, who has a degree in Jewish studies and Hebrew, offers an helpful insight on this passage. While a number of different words for lamb is used elsewhere in the scriptures, in this passage we find the only use of the Hebrew word tela.
He writes: “Tela actually means to be blemished, spotted, wounded. The lamb that the Good Shepherd is carrying is one that is not perfect, it is flawed, or has been wounded and cannot walk or feed on it’s own nor keep up with the rest of the flock. . . The Shepherd takes care of His whole flock and feeds them by leading them to pastures and cool waters, but it is the wounded lamb that he not only takes care of but carries, feeds with his own hand & lets the tela drink from the water from the palm of his hand.”
Whenever I see this picture of Jesus lovingly holding this little lamb, I consider all the times I’ve had to be be held and carried through the difficult days of life because of my wounded broken spirit.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, I long to be held safely within Your loving arms of grace so that I might find the confidence and faith I’ll need to face this day. Amen.
*The Scripture Reading for each day is selected from the Revised Common Daily Lectionary used in A Disciple’s Journal – 2017 by Steven W. Manskar]