A Righteous Shepherd-King

Pentecost 8 (Proper 11), July 18, 2021

Text: Jeremiah 23:1–6

Theme: A Righteous Shepherd-King

Other Lessons: Psalm 23; Ephesians 2:11–22; Mark 6:30–44

1. In the Name of the Father…Amen.

1. The Old Testament lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.

1. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:

538 Praise Be to Christ

1 Praise be to Christ in whom we see

The image of the Father shown,

The firstborn Son revealed and known,

The truth and grace of deity;

Through whom creation came to birth,

Whose fingers set the stars in place,

The unseen pow’rs, and this small earth,

The furthest bounds of time and space.

2 Praise be to Him whose sov’reign sway

And will upholds creation’s plan;

Who is, before all worlds began

And when our world has passed away:

Lord of the Church, its life and head,

Redemption’s price and source and theme,

Alive, the firstborn from the dead,

To reign as all-in-all supreme. Amen.

1. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


1. At an archaeological dig in northeast Syria, a flock of sheep daily
passes by the site.
1. Each sheep would wander off in its own direction until the
shepherd came and gathered them together.
2. As sinners, we are like that:
1. each going our own way, far from the safety of the Lord.
3. Which is why the Lord himself would step in and raise up
shepherds (Jeremiah 23:4), even the Shepherd:
1. and even at a terrible personal cost:

1. What punishment so strange is suffered yonder!

The Shepherd dies for sheep that loved to wander;

The Master pays the debt His servants owe Him,

Who would not know Him. (LSB 439:4)

1. You need a king.

1. You need a king.
1. You might not think so.
2. Americans don’t like kings.
3. We affirm government of the people, by the people, and for the
4. As a worldly political policy, our American system of checks
and balances is good and beneficial.
5. It works.
6. But before God Almighty himself, you need a king.
7. Not any kind of king, but God’s kind of human king.

1. The world’s kind of king will mislead people and serve only himself.

1. You don’t need the world’s kind of king.
1. The kings of the world can prove to be incredibly violent and
2. One thinks of all the blood that was shed by the kings of
ancient Assyria and Babylon and Greece and Rome and, in more
recent days,
absolute rulers such as Hitler, Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol
Pot, and many

1. Kings of the world are typically not righteous in God’s way of
1. They rule in very unrighteous ways, with wicked policies toward
the people and in turn leading the people in wicked ways.
2. The old saying is true:
1. As goes the king, so go the people.

1. The root of the problem is this: kings of the world are self-serving.
1. The well worn adage is apt: “It’s all about power, getting it
and keeping it.”
2. Worldly kings seek their own glory and prestige. They don’t
really care about their people or their people’s plight.
3. They’re only interested only in feathering their own nest.

1. What results from these policies and practices?
1. The sheep scatter.
2. Every sinner does his own thing.
3. Every sinner goes his own way, and that way is always away from
the true God, their Creator—always.
4. As Isaiah confessed for us in chapter 53 of his book:
1. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every
one—to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6).

1. Ancient Israel can function as a visual aid for us, for it serves as
a model of what happens without God’s kind of human king.
1. In ancient Israel, the king was supposed to be a good shepherd
who would gather his sheep and lead them in the ways of the Lord.
2. Jeremiah states God’s own expectations for God’s kind of king:
1. “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of
the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or
violence to the
resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed
innocent blood in
this place” (Jeremiah 22:3).

1. But a bad shepherd-king will mislead the people and serve only
1. Jeremiah, as well as Ezekiel in Ezekiel 34, condemned the last
shepherd-kings of Jerusalem in his day.
2. They attended only to themselves.
3. They were self-serving.
4. They built their own magnificent palace but did not care for
the people by doing what was right before God.
5. Their eyes and heart were oriented toward only their own
covetous desires.
6. Their practices consisted of shedding innocent blood and
practicing violent oppression.
7. And the worst thing about their reign was that they led the
people away from the true God toward idols.
8. They corrupted the people, and the people themselves became
corrupt and guilty as well.

1. They were supposed to be good shepherds, to rule the people in true
righteousness, to lead the people in God’s ways, and to unite
the people to
serve the Lord in true unity.
1. But in fact, the corrupt practices of the kings corrupted the
people and would lead to their dispersion.
2. Jeremiah announced the words of Yahweh, the God of Israel:
1. “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of
my pasture!” (Jeremiah 23:1).
1. And in fact, the sheep were scattered among the nations.
2. In 587 BC, Babylon came along, destroyed Jerusalem and the
temple, and exiled the people.

1. But God promised a different kind of king.

1. But God did not end his message there.
1. Through Jeremiah, God announced a wonderful promise of a
different future.
2. In the future, God will regather the remnant of his flock out
of the other lands and bring them back to the sheepfold.

1. Not only that, but:
1. The Days Are Coming When God Will “Raise Up for David a
Righteous Branch, and a King Shall Rule and Act Wisely and Do God’s
Judgment and Righteousness in the Land”(verse 5).

1. In contrast to the wicked and unrighteous kings Jerusalem was used
to, this future king will be a righteous Branch, which will grow into a
tree that will bear much fruit.
1. This future king will rule wisely and do what is truly
2. He will unite Judah and Israel in salvation and safety.
3. No longer will they fear conquering enemies.
4. And through the messianic King, the gift of righteousness will
come to the people from God.
5. The Messiah’s name will be “Yahweh is our righteousness.”
6. Through the rule of the Davidic Messiah, Yahweh is the author
and source of our righteousness.

1. God sent his Son to be our righteous Shepherd-King.

1. Hear the good news.
1. God fulfills his promises of old.
2. He began to restore his exiled people back to the land of
Israel in 538 BC and then more in 457 BC.
3. And in the fullness of time, six hundred years after Jeremiah’s
promise, God brought his ancient promises to fulfillment.
4. God sent his only-begotten Son to join the human race, to
become Israel’s human King from the line of David.
5. God gave you a righteous Shepherd-King.
6. And what did he do?
1. During his public ministry in the land of Israel, he had
compassion on Israel as sheep without a shepherd.
2. He gathered to himself the lost sheep of Israel.
3. He did what a righteous king was supposed to do.
4. He had compassion on the helpless, the widow, the
fatherless, the weak, the overlooked nobodies.
5. We can read about his public ministry in the Gospel
appointed for this season, the Gospel according to Mark.
6. Jesus saw the people of Israel as sheep without a shepherd,
and he gathered them to himself.
7. He continues to do that even to this day.
8. Remember the Day of Pentecost, how the Holy Spirit was sent
by the exalted Messiah Jesus and came upon Israelites who
had gathered in
Jerusalem from around the world.

1. God gave you a righteous Shepherd-King.
1. Jesus is the Shepherd-King who unites his people like a
shepherd unites his sheep.
2. And he adds even more to his flock, those beyond native Israel.
3. Through Holy Baptism, he brought even us Gentiles into his
4. He gathers his own from around the world and brings us to God
his Father.
5. Jesus is the Shepherd-King of Israel, who is better than any of
the preceding kings of Israel.
6. In fact, he does something surprising.
7. This Good Shepherd laid down his life for his sheep, for you.
8. And God raised him up on the third day and highly exalted him.
9. Now Jesus as the Davidic King rules over you by his Holy
10. To live under his rule is a blessed life.
11. He brings you to the God of ancient Israel, the true God and
makes you part of his own flock.
12. Through his sacred meal, he nourishes you with his body and
blood and gives you eternal life with him.
13. You by faith belong to his flock and enjoy salvation and
safety under his rule.
14. You need not fear anything.
15. For your Shepherd-King is all for you, no matter what.
16. After those woeful shepherds:
1. “Behold, the days” of “a righteous Branch [who] shall reign
as king and deal wisely and shall execute justice and
righteousness in the

1. Through this Shepherd-King, you receive true righteousness from God.

1. Jesus is the righteous Shepherd-King.
1. Through him, you receive true righteousness from God himself.
2. God laid on Jesus, the King, your iniquity and sin.
3. And God reckoned to you the righteousness of Jesus, which he
achieved by his own righteous doing and suffering.
4. By faith, you now stand righteous before God.
5. Yahweh, the true God, is now the source of your righteousness.
6. His righteousness has replaced your wickedness.
7. And by his Spirit, he promises to lead you in righteous ways.
8. You belong to the righteous Shepherd-King of Israel.
9. Follow his paths, the righteous paths of your righteous King.
10. And wait with eager anticipation for when Jesus comes again in
glory to gather you and all his flock together into his
glorious, eternal


1. God has given you a righteous Shepherd-King.
1. Enjoy by faith his rule now.
2. Hear the Word faithfully preached and taught by his called
undershepherd, your pastor.
3. Receive the Lord’s Supper rightly administered by his called
4. And look forward to the day of bodily resurrection when you
will see your righteous Shepherd-King face-to-face.
5. Amen.

1. Let us pray:

3 Praise be to Him who, Lord Most High,

The fullness of the Godhead shares;

And yet our human nature bears,

Who came as man to bleed and die.

And from His cross there flows our peace

Who chose for us the path He trod,

That so might sins and sorrows cease

And all be reconciled to God.

Text: © 1984 Hope Publishing Co. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License
no. 110000247


1. 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love
of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

1. The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1. In the Name of the Father…Amen.