“Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you cloth yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.” – Ezekiel 34:2b-4
Messianic prophecies such as this one are at the heart of why Jesus came into the world. He came to strengthen the weak, to heal the sick, to bind up the injured, to seek out the lost — when those responsible for such tasks would not. Passages such as these remind us of the necessity of Christ in a broken world, but they should also prompt us toward self-reflection. To what extent is the modern-day church guilty of the same sins that condemned the leaders of God’s people in ancient times?
We discussed this question (in part) during my church’s small group meeting last night, and though we did not arrive at any decisive conclusions, we did take a look at how current trends in Christian missions demonstrate a concerning tendency toward nepotism. We took a look at the following video in light of the passage above and discussed its implications for the common believer: