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THE GREAT SHEPHERD
(20 April 2018)
Psalm 23 is probably one of the most loved Psalms of the Word. It tells us that the Lord is our Shepherd. We have everything we need because He takes care of us.
He lets us rest in green meadows and leads us beside peaceful streams (vs.2). He gives us the strength we need for every day (vs.3). He is our faithful Guide and leads us along the right paths that lead to His plan for our lives (vs.3).
We don't have to fear anyone or anything, for He is always with us to protect and comfort us (vs.4). He is good to us, blessing us and empowering us to do His will. His goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives (vs.6).
In John 10 Jesus takes this image of God as our Shepherd one step further. He calls Himself our Good Shepherd.
The Good Shepherd is the gate for the sheep (vs.7). Anyone who comes in through Him will be saved and find good pastures (vs.9). His purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life (vs.10).
Jesus is the Good Shepherd that sacrificed His life for the sheep (vs.11). He knows His own sheep, and they know Him (vs.14). He is the One Shepherd who brings all the sheep that belong to God into one flock (vs.16).
The sheep listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd, and they follow Him (vs.27). He gives them eternal life (vs.28). No one can take them from His hand nor can they take the sheep from the hand of the Father (vs.29). In the hands of God, they are safe.
The writer of Hebrews again takes the image of the Good Shepherd another step further. He calls Jesus the Great Shepherd!
Hebrews 13:20-21 says: "Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with His blood— may He equip you with all you need for doing His will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him. All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen."
The New Covenant was sealed by the blood of the Great Shepherd. Through Him, God equips us with everything we need to be obedient to Him and do His will. Through Him, God produces in us those things that are pleasing to Him.
As our Shepherd, God takes care of our physical lives.
As our Good Shepherd, Jesus took care of our spiritual lives, saving us and giving us eternal life.
And as our Great Shepherd, He enables us to do His will and please the Father in everything we do.
"All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen" (Hebrews 13:21c).