TD Jakes - Shepherds In The Field
Why are the shepherds in the field and not the pasture? Why are the shepherds in the field and not in the sheepfold? It would appear that at night, as I understand it, most shepherds gather their sheep into the sheepfold and protect them in the sheepfold. Why are the shepherds letting the sheep graze at night in the field? Shepherds don't normally graze, sheep don't normally graze in the field, they graze in the pasture. When you hear the word field, that's vegetation, that's growth, that's harvest, that's gardening, that's crops.
Why are the sheep, and most importantly, the shepherd, in the field? I'm scratching my head about it because I don't understand why the shepherds are abiding in the field and they're not in the pasture and their not in the sheepfold. And why does Luke allude to shepherds in the field? And I look at it and I think to myself, Wait a minute, the shepherds are in the field. I've seen this before. I have seen this phrase about the shepherds in the field before.
Do you remember over in Genesis when the Bible tells us in the book of Genesis, that, "Abel is a tender of the sheep," which makes him a shepherd, and, "Cain is a tiller of the soil"? Do you remember that text? And that Abel offered up a sacrifice unto God and God received it, and Cain did not offer up a sacrifice toward God that was acceptable because Cain offered up to God something from the field? Cain offered up to God a sacrifice from the field and Abel offered up a sacrifice from the pasture, Abel offered up a blood sacrifice and Cain offered up something from the field. And do you remember how Cain was wroth? He was angry with Abel because unto Abel God had respect on his sacrifice.
Can I get into this just for a minute? I just want to talk to the Bible lovers just for a minute. I'm-I'm-I'm-I'm-I'm-I'm-I'm-I'm. I'm confused here because these shepherds in the field, I've seen it before. Because when God tells Cain, "If thou doest not well, will I not receive you?" and Cain walks away mad and he's angry, the Bible says that when Abel came into the field, Cain slew him. And I asked myself, Is not Abel coming into the field? Shepherds in the field? Is not this a mirrored reflection of what happened between Cain and Abel and between the birth of Jesus, that the Shepherd is in the field? Isn't that how Abel got killed? If Abel had stayed in the pasture he would have never gotten killed, it was because Abel came over on Cain's territory that he was attacked and murdered and destroyed. And it was there with the shepherd in the field that Cain, who wouldn't kill a lamb, kills a man because the man is a shepherd. Ya'll don't hear me this morning. The man is a shepherd in the field.
Now I understand why Luke mentions to me the Shepherd in the field, because in order for a shepherd to be in the field he has to be willing to come out of his territory. And suddenly I recognized that the shepherds in the field are important because the angels that appeared and spoke in the text that I read at the beginning, in Luke chapter 2, are not talking to Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph are the ones who need a visitation from an angel, but the Bible said that the angels came to talk to the shepherds. Why do the angels even care to talk to the shepherds? Who are these shepherds? Why do they deserve a revelation? Mary is the one whose legs are in a stirrup, Mary is the one who's in labor, Mary is the one who has to wrap her baby in milk rags.
What you call sack cloths are milk rags, where they've been milking the cow, and she now wraps the milk of the Word in milk rags, and if anybody needs the word from the angels, it ought to be Mary. But instead, the angels don't even go and talk to Mary, the angels run to the shepherds in the field and they tell the shepherds in the field, "Leave your sheep and go to the barn in Bethlehem, because your sheep are just a shadow". Your sheep are just a shadow, what's happening in the barn is the reality, your sheep represent what Jesus is. And he tells the shepherd, "The sheep will be fine, go look in that barn". "Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world". Behold, you're watching the wrong sheep, you're watching the wrong sheep, none of the blood from none of those sheep will resolve the sin issue and set the captive free and loose the bound, but there is a Lamb who just hit the world, whose blood will redeem the world from the curse of the law and from sin and death. There is a Lamb, there is a Lamb that you ought to have your eyes on.
Oh, Father, fix my eyes on Jesus. Can I go a little bit deeper? And then I began to recognize that Jesus is reenacting what Abel did, Abel came into Cain's field and Jesus coming to Earth is him coming into Satan's field, for Satan has been given dominion over the Earth realm. And God has cast him out of heaven and Jesus says, "Not only will I run you out of heaven, I will come on your own territory and I will overthrow you in your own territory because I'm going to break the curse that was on man. You killed Abel, but you will not destroy me. I'm coming where you are". And here he comes down through 40 and 2 generations, stepping down the corridors of time, here comes Jesus, down where they are. Here comes Jesus, here comes Jesus, here comes Jesus. Type it everybody, "Here comes Jesus," here comes Jesus.
Tell America, "Here comes Jesus," tell this crazy world, "Here comes Jesus," tell the people on ventilators, "Here comes Jesus," tell the people in grief, "Here comes Jesus," tell the people in depression, "Here comes Jesus," tell the people upset, "Here comes Jesus," tell the people disturbed, "Here comes Jesus". Here comes Jesus, here comes Jesus, get ready for it, here he comes. That's God's Word to somebody, I don't know who it is but that's God's Word to you, here comes Jesus. You're tired, you're frustrated, you've been uncomfortable, you've been at your wit's end, you can't get a word from God, here is your word from God: Here comes Jesus. Here comes Jesus, here comes Jesus, here comes Jesus, here comes Jesus, here comes Jesus. Tell your bills, "Here comes Jesus," tell your depression, "Here comes Jesus," tell your fear, "Here comes". Oh, I wish I had the old church, I feel a holy Ghost praise, I feel the anointing of the Holy Ghost, I feel the Spirit of the Living God. Look at somebody and holler, "Here comes Jesus".
The shepherds in the field are mentioned because the true Shepherd, the true Shepherd, the Good Shepherd is in the field, and the angels needed to announce to these shepherds that the Good Shepherd is now in the field. The Shepherd is in the field, the shepherd is in the field. He couldn't redeem me from heaven, he couldn't redeem me surrounded by the royal diadem, he couldn't redeem me sitting on the throne before the crystal glass, he couldn't redeem me surrounded by Michael or Gabriel, but the Shepherd willing to redeem me. He came where I was and he stepped down into humanity and the angels wanted the word to get out that the Shepherd is in the field, huh.
Tell every wolf, tell every witch, tell every hex, tell every spell, tell every disease, tell every affliction, "The Shepherd in the field". The Shepherd is here, somebody say, "The Shepherd is here". What does that mean? I'll let David answer you. "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul... My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life". All the days of my life will be changed because the Shepherd is in the field, and the Lord is my shepherd. Tell the devil, "If you wont pay me, God will; if you won't feed me, God will; if you won't make a way, God will; if you ain't got my back, God's got my back, because the Shepherd, the Shepherd is in the field".
The Shepherd is in the field, the Shepherd is in the field, the Shepherd is in the field, the Shepherd is in the field. "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies". "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow, it was nighttime, The shadow of death, I shall fear no evil: for thou art with me". The Shepherd. Oh, the Good Shepherd! The Good Shepherd. The Shepherd is in the field. Tell Covid-19. Oh! Tell them the shepherd is in the field. Tell depression, tell suicide, tell discomfort, tell disgrace, tell shame, tell heaviness, the shepherd is in the field. No wonder the shepherds left their sheep, the shadow always recedes in the presence of the reality. No wonder Luke mentions that it was while shepherds were in the field, while the shadow was holding the place the real thing came.
And there was no better place for Mary to have Jesus than to have him in the field. Because he is my Shepherd, I have everything I need, because he is my Shepherd, I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord. I want everybody who's been worried about anything, who's been up at night, who's been uncomfortable, who's been wrestling with dis-ease to lift your hands and open your mouth and worship, because the Shepherd is in the field. I don't care whether you feel silly or not, lift your hands and open your mouth and worship him because the Shepherd, he's in the field. He just hit the field, every other door was closed, the Shepherd is. I can't hear you, the Shepherd is. Whatever you've been worried about, whatever you've been upset about, whatever's on your heart and been on your mind, whatever has had you up at night, take comfort, take courage, lift your voice like a trumpet. The Shepherd. Devil? Hey, devil, the Shepherd, the Shepherd is in the field.
This Sunday morning, we are going to cast all our cares on him, we're gonna put full responsibility on him. I'm going to give you an opportunity to, I want you to write down, text in, send in the message everything that you've been carrying that you need to cast on the Shepherd. I want you to turn it, we're going to release it to him and then I'm gonna pray for everything that you wrote. And I want you to give me something to pray for so that you don't have to carry this alone. As the under shepherd, I'm gonna bring you to the Chief Shepherd and let your requests be made known unto him. Write it right now. I need you, I need you, I need you to take care of this, Lord, I need you to fix this, I need you to fix this, right here, right now.