2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace.
Micah’s prophecy describes the rule and reign of the Messiah as the shepherd king of his people. There is no doubt that this prophecy points to Jesus, the descendant of the original shepherd king, David of Bethlehem. Like his father, David, Jesus lived his life as a king who loved and cared for his people. He announced his kingdom as good news. He waged war upon the kingdom of darkness as he healed the sick, freed the demoniac, and raised the dead. And all the while doing it as the shepherd of his people. With compassion and grace, he helped the hurting, fed the hungry, and sought the lost.
But Jesus was much more than just a kind and wise king. He was more than just a king who shepherded his flock in the strength of the LORD. He was the one whose coming forth was from old, from ancient days. He was the king from before time. The eternal king. The eternal shepherd. The eternal God.
Jesus himself made this clear before his death while teaching in the Temple.
Mark 12:35-37. 35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,
“‘The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
37 David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
Quoting Psalm 110, Jesus claimed to be the Messiah who is much more than the Son of David. In the psalm, David calls Jesus, the Christ, my Lord. No King would ever call his son Lord. David would never call Jesus his king. That is unless Jesus actually lived before David and was the eternal king. The Lord of lords. The cosmic Christ seated at the right hand of God the Father.
It is this truth that allows Jesus to be the true shepherd king that we all need. The king who doesn’t need to demand anything from his people, and therefore, can simply give to his people. The king who is much more than just an example of how to live a peaceful life, or even much more than a martyr who would sacrifice his life for an earthly and temporal peace.
he shall be their peace.
Jesus IS our peace. He doesn’t merely point to peace, proclaim peace, demonstrate peace, or even establish peace. He IS peace. Shalom. Flourishing. His very life is our “good life.”
Now, through our union with Christ, the one who IS our peace has brought internal peace to our hearts. The peace of his constant care and protection. The peace of his promise of eternal life. The peace of the freedom of his forgiveness. The peace of his completed righteousness imputed to us. The peace of victory over every enemy that would seek to destroy us. The peace of knowing the final outcome. The peace of his unconditional love and grace. The peace of his presence in every valley and on every mountain top. The peace that surpasses all understanding.
One day, at his return, Jesus will bring an external peace to the ends of the earth. But for now, our Shepherd King has brought shalom to our souls by pouring peace into us through the rule and reign of his kingdom in our hearts.
“To live is Christ” is to have the One who IS our peace. This is not a peace you must earn or achieve, for that would bring no peace at all. It is a peace that is freely given as the life of Jesus the gracious Shepherd King of our hearts.
Do you have the peace of the Shepherd King?
You in Christ
How does knowing that you can have peace in Christ change your outlook on the day?
Christ in you
Where can you bring the peace of Christ to a little corner of the world today?
Playlist: songs of peace.