News & Resources

The Institute of Lutheran theology not only provides programs to train pastors and teachers, but it also provides educational and devotional resources for individuals and congregations. These resources are provided free of charge and made available through our web page. Please subscribe to and use any of these resources.

Christ the King Sunday A, November 26, 2023

Download Printable

Christ the King Sunday A, November 26, 2023

The thirty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel begins with the Lord commanding the prophet to “prophesy against the shepherds of Israel (vs. 34:1).  The Lord gives Ezekiel the indictment against the shepherds (and by shepherds, the Lord means the leaders of the people both religious and governmental).  They have fed themselves and not the sheep (34:2).  They eat the fat sheep and clothe themselves in wool but do not feed the sheep that provide these things.  The shepherds… the leaders… do not strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the injured, bring back the strays, or seek out the lost.  The Lord’s sheep, scattered hither and yon, have become food for the wild beasts.

In the text before us, the Lord is giving those so-called shepherds the boot.  The Lord is taking over their position.  He will be leader… he will be his sheep’s shepherd… he will rescue his flock (vs. 11 & 22).  Yet, the Lord is not content to indict merely lax and incompetent shepherds.  The Lord also indicts by “judging between sheep and sheep” (vs. 34:17).  These bullies of the flock have used their strength to seize and consume the good pasture and to claim and drink the clear water.  Even worse, they have despoiled both pasture and stream for the rest of the flock (vs. 34:18-19).  The Lord rectifies all this insult and injustice, taking the shepherd’s position for himself and then bestowing it upon his servant David (vs. 23).

Consider again the parable of the Lost Sheep told by Jesus in the fifteenth chapter of Luke.  Consider it in light of what you have learned from this chapter in Ezekiel.  Consider that the “lost sheep” had not wandered off because of its own moral failings or other sinful behavior.  Consider instead that the “lost sheep” was there in the wilderness because the assigned shepherd had failed or because the strong sheep had bullied this weak one into lostness.  Consider that, though the parable might be such an indictment as the Lord prophesied through Ezekiel, the Lord still rescues his flock through the Son of David, who is  Jesus Christ, the very Word of God himself.

Table Talk:  Discuss how the shepherd/sheep imagery clarifies you.
Pray:  Heavenly Father, keep me in the care of my good shepherd, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

11 For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice…

…20 Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21 Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22 I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.


Looking for an exhilarating online casino experience in Zambia? Your search ends here with Bwin Zambia!