Genesis 27-28; John 10; Psalm 18:31-50
Once more the rich interplay between the texts reveal the unity of Scripture – that it is of a whole
Firstly though we are warned once more of the significance of the Word. We find the story of Isaac, Jacob and Esau so strange because, to our peril we have lost sight of the Creative word. The idea that Blessings and curses are ‘more than mere words’, is beyond us. The idea that Isaac is Fast Bound by his giving of the blessing to Jacob, even though he has been deceived – even though Lying words have been used to bring forth the blessing, seems to us a nonsense. How infrequently do we now hear in our culture the praise ‘He is a man of his word’. We are often called to promise, but we no longer think a promise binds. Thus we have let go of the building blocks of Life. It is little surprise that we are lost without a Shepherd.
Jacob as he flees Esau is privileged to find ‘The house of God’ – the dwelling place where God is present to humankind once more. This ‘dream’ dimly evokes Eden, but also heralds the Tabernacle, the Temple and The Living Temple – a crescendo of Grace.
So comes the Good Shepherd. It was a difficult task to find adequate artwork for this. All the pictures are highly sentimentalised. It is to our romantic imagination, a ‘nice’ idea. But the Good Shepherd as revealed in John’s entire corpus, is a figure of the profoundest Mystery. He is the Shepherd, who also is The Lamb of God, slain since the foundation of the world, who is also the Temple.
“For who is God except the LORD? Who is a Rock besides our God?”