Jesus said, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32 (NASB)
When I was put in charge of food for a series of meetings and a weekend retreat, Fear knocked on my door. Panic tried to slip in. So many details to remember! Could I remember the main things? Could I get everything ready in time?
As I studied the group’s verse for the weekend, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b), I found the related verse in Luke.
Luke 12:32 records one of the many times Jesus told His disciples to stop being afraid. He addressed them as a “little flock.” The Greek word He used for little is a double diminutive which must be translated by more than one word in English.* We might say “tiny little” or “very little.”
Jesus’ words remind us that He is the Shepherd. He leads His flock beside still waters; we will not want; we will dwell with Him forever (Psalm 23). He is the Good Shepherd because the Father sent Him as a sacrificial lamb to die in our place so that we could be part of the Kingdom of God. The verb in Luke 12:32, “has chosen,” is past tense: Jesus gave us the Kingdom. It’s done. We don’t have to work to earn it. Accept the gift; it’s paid for.
Not only do I have an intimately caring Shepherd who has given me His Kingdom, but I am also part of a flock. Responsibility for food at the meetings and retreat did not all rest on me: I had a team of helpers. At one of the meetings a team member grabbed my busy hands and made me stop as she prayed for God’s peace to fill me. And it did.
Have you been tempted to panic about a responsibility you’ve been given? Do you see yourself as part of a flock? Even if the flock is a tiny little one, even if you don’t have a team of helpers, remember you are always surrounded by a “cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1). And you are led by the Divine Shepherd who says, “Fear not, little flock.”
How does Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18:12-14 characterize the shepherd? What is He willing to do for us?
In Luke 12:22-31, how do we compare with the things Jesus tells us to look at? Have you ever applied this remedy to your own fear and worry?
For a devotion on “The Great Shepherd of the Sheep” see Dig into Words: Complete.
“Little” is “big” in God’s hands. Download this quiz to see how important “little” is to God:/resources/1/Little Is Big Quiz.pdf
Nancy J. Baker
*<http:// www.blueletterbible.org/BLB lexicon