Following the True Shepherd

When the Bible talks about where we’re going and whom we’re following, it often uses the imagery of the shepherd and his flock. That’s what we’ll see in Zechariah today. For he warned Israel about following the wrong shepherds or leaders. Who you follow reveals a lot about who you are and what you believe. And who you follow has a lot to do with where you end up.

That’s what the prophet Zechariah wanted to address with the people of God. He wanted them to see how the leader, the shepherd you choose to follow will determine your destiny. In Zechariah 10-11, the prophet continued proclaiming the oracle of the Word of the LORD that began in chapter 9 concerning the coming Messiah. In this part of the oracle, he proclaimed the importance of God’s people following the coming Messiah as their true Shepherd. We can understand the importance of following Jesus as our only true Shepherd.

The King is Coming

Are you the kind of person that prepares for things? Here in Eastern NC, you quickly learn the importance of being prepared during hurricane season. People are encouraged to have adequate water, food, batteries, flash lights, candles, and other necessities on hand before a storm comes, because the coming of a hurricane often means no power nor water service for a time. If you wait until the storm comes, it’s too late.
Are you prepared for the second coming of King Jesus? For the Bible says, He is coming again. That’s what today’s Scripture is about. It’s about being prepared for the coming King.

In Zechariah 9, the prophet received an oracle of God to prepare His people for the coming of their Messiah, King Jesus. We can be prepared for the coming of King Jesus.

Transformation Over Tradition

God cares more about heart transformation than He does our traditions. If our religious traditions come from hearts that have been transformed by the love of Jesus, then they are pleasing to Him. But if we’re just going through the motions and doing what we’ve always done without any heart change, then they do not please Him. God is looking for transformed hearts.

In Zechariah 7-8, the Lord turned the Jewish exiles’ question about their tradition of fasting into an examination of the real spiritual issue, namely, that their religious traditions were worthless without transformation of the heart. What God was really looking for was heart change. God is still looking for people who will humble themselves in repentance and submit their hearts to His transforming power.

God’s Righteous Response to Sin

Do you think things in the world have gotten better or worse over time? How about in our nation? Do you feel that we are becoming more godly and pleasing to God or are we straying further and further from God? Does it seem to you that God doesn’t really seem to care about the growing lack of shame and open immorality we see in our world today? The truth is, God does care about sin. And He is already responding to it and has a plan to overcome it.

In Zechariah Chapter 5 and 6, we encounter the last three of Zechariah’s eight night visions. In these last three visions, Zechariah saw God’s righteous response to humanity’s sin. We can understand God’s righteous response to our sin.

Relying On God’s Spirit

Who among you here today would admit that you’re discouraged and grieving over a loss? You’re overwhelmed about an obstacle that you don’t know how to overcome? You’re feeling small and inadequate about situation you’re in? Maybe, you’re even a little angry at God about something today? Zechariah and the Israelites probably were feeling these same feelings. They had returned from 70 years of Babylonian captivity and had begun rebuilding the Temple, but now a decade without any work. They were small, overwhelmed, and discouraged. But…

In Zechariah chapter four, the prophet saw his 5th night vision. Similar to chapter three, which was a vision of a contemporary of Zechariah’s, the high priest Joshua, this vision was of another contemporary, namely the governor of Judea, Zerubbabel. Both visions seemed primarily aimed at encouraging both Joshua and Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple and reinstate worship. Both visions also have strong Messianic messages for the people of God. In this 5th vision, God told Zechariah to tell Zerubbabel that he would have to rely on God’s Spirit and not his own strength to accomplish his God-given calling.

A Vision of Jesus

Have you ever really considered how the whole Bible points to Jesus? Sure, it tells us a lot about ourselves and about the world we live in, but it is primarily a book about God, especially His Son, Jesus.

The exiles returning to Israel are restless. They’ve returned to the land, but now they wonder, when will their Messiah finally come and deliver them? God doesn’t answer their “when” question, but He does give His prophet Zechariah a vision for “who” they should look for and how they can prepare themselves for His coming.

In Zechariah chapter three, the prophet saw his 4th night vision, this time of a real person, Joshua, the high priest. Yet, as the vision continued, Zechariah learned that the vision of Joshua was also a “sign” pointing to the coming Messiah and His work of salvation

How Long?

Have you ever asked the Lord, “How long?” How long must I be stuck here? How long must I endure this pain? How long must I feel so alone and lonely? How long will the wicked be allowed to prosper without justice? How long before Your return? How long, Lord?

In Zechariah chapter 1 and 2, the prophet saw three visions from the LORD that offered gracious comfort to him and the people of Israel.

Return to Me

How close are you to God today? If I were to ask you to rank your closeness right now on a scale of 1-10, what would you say?

Even before God sent Jesus, He was already at work calling His people to return to Him. In the book of Zechariah, God spoke through the prophet to the Jewish exiles who had returned from Babylonian captivity. When they first returned, they were passionate and excited to be back home and had started to rebuild the Temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians. Yet their passion had grown cold when they faced the difficulties of rebuilding and the work had ceased. Years had gone by since any work had been done. So God sent the prophet Haggai, who encouraged the people to get back to work on the Temple. And He sent the prophet Zechariah, who called them to an even deeper purpose. In Zechariah 1:1-6, God told the Jewish exiles that had returned to Jerusalem that it was even more important that they recognize how He had called them to return to Him.


2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus told His disciples to “GO and MAKE DISCIPLES” and He has called His disciples, His church, to be on the move ever since. Because the church is not a place, it’s a people. The church is not a monument, it’s a movement! Today’s message will focus on what it means to become disciples that move to make disciples.

In the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy, reminded him of the importance of being a disciple who makes disciples of Jesus. We can be disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ.


2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus told His disciples to “GO and MAKE DISCIPLES” and He has called His disciples, His church, to be on the move ever since. Because the church is not a place, it’s a people. The church is not a monument, it’s a movement! Today, we want to focus on the “GO” part of Christ’s command. Because we can’t be part of a movement without going and moving with the gospel. That’s how the Good News moves from one generation to the next. We go and tell others.

In the apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he encouraged him to have a fervent passion for sharing the gospel of Jesus. We can have a fervent passion for sharing the gospel of Jesus.