The Good Shepard
In this story, the only miracle reported in all four gospels, Jesus picks up on a theme woven through the Old Testament, of God’s people as sheep in need of a shepherd. The same theme extends throughout the New Testament as Jesus self-identifies as the good shepherd (Jn. 10:1), his people as sheep (Jn. 10:11, 16) and pastors as his under-shepherds (1 Pet. 5:1-2). The banquet hosted by Herod Antipas was attended by the nobles and elite of Galilee, had food prepared by gourmet chefs, had entertainment of exotic dancing, and climaxed with the calloused and cowardly execution of John the Baptist. The second feast was hosted by Jesus, attended by the common people of the land, had food provided by Christ, had exposition of the truth by the Son of God, and climaxed by being gathered and fed on the green grass by the great shepherd. As Christ’s sheep with opportunities to shepherd one another, this passage is a goldmine.