Scripture Reading: John 10:11
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep”
In Psalms 23:1, David made a declaration – “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want”
This declaration of David has several far-reaching implications for us today. It speaks deep into our physical and emotional stability in a world that is troubled and confused. It provides a road map for our earthly journey. It assures us of guidance and protection along the way. However, perhaps the most encouraging thought is the fact of His closeness and personal care for each one of His own.
Like the Good Shepherd, he would leave the ninety and nine and go after the single lost even on the Sabbath day (Luke 15:4). The personal care and touch of the Master transitions us from uncertainty, mental confusion, and bewilderment to emotional and spiritual stability. We live with the assurance that He is always there to uphold us, regardless of the surrounding circumstances.
Psalms 23 was written by David. In it, he gave us tremendous insight into the life of a sheep for a period of one year. The experience cycle of a sheep through the different seasons of its life was masterfully tabulated for us to comprehend as to how the shepherd cares for the sheep. Who else is better qualified to provide such insight than the one who himself has been a good shepherd!
In this Psalm, David presents himself as a sheep and the Lord as the Shepherd. He exposes the dangers and challenges the sheep will encounter during the year and explains how the good shepherd will carefully enable them to navigate through the dangers and challenges. This is a precise replica of the Lord’s dealing with us today.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters (Psalms 23:2).” The pastures are green and the waters quietly running in the streams indicates that it is summer time. He is always there for us, throughout the year, in the good times and even in the cold dead winter.
Jesus went back to Psalms 23 and made the world know that He was that Shepherd, David spoke about in the Psalms. However, He went further when He compares what exists in the world and what He is offering to the world. In John 10:10, Jesus refers to the devil as a thief who came into the world for the express purpose of stealing, killing, and destroying.
However, Jesus explained that He came to give life and to give it in abundance. Jesus is speaking here about eternal life and has made it clear on another occasion, that he that has the Son has life (1 John 5:12). Without the Son, there is no life eternal.
As a comparison between Himself and Satan, He showed us how vastly different He is from the destroyer. He is the Good Shepherd; while Satan seeks to steal, kill, and destroy, He is willing to lay down His life for the sheep. It is in this context that He is declared the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd is one who is willing to lay down his life for the sheep.
Jesus laid down His life for our redemption long ago. He now promises to be with us at all times. He addresses our fears and anxieties, our challenges and uncertainties. As we continue to put our faith and trust in Him, we will experience His divine love and protection.
The Lord went on to explain that He is not a hireling, but the owner of the sheep. No form of demonic invasion will cause Him to abandon the flock. He has invested His life for our redemption, care and protection. He will now, not leave us. Be strong and be strengthened. We are under His watchful protection.
Paul Mursalin is a member of the International Board of Barnabas Fund from Guyana
Photo by joseph d’mello on Unsplash
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