Walk Of Life – Day 08, December 2021 – Christ-Centered Christmas – Titles Of Jesus Christ
JESUS CHRIST – THE GOOD SHEPHERD
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Psalms 23 is also known as the Shepherd’s psalm. It has been read across the ages for weddings, funerals, and invariably all special occasions. It is the first psalm we learn as toddlers. There is so much of meaning in the psalm if you study it from a sheep’s perspective. I am so grateful to be the sheep of the Good Shepherd.
The “LORD” – As a sheep, I am blessed to have the King of Kings as my shepherd. David speaks with a strong sense of pride and devotion and admiration. A sheep’s life depended on the kind of shepherd it had…and David knew he had the best shepherd ever.
“IS “my” Shepherd; I shall not want.”- Speaks of ownership. He is my shepherd. Each sheep carried an indelible mark on its ear that it belongs to a particular shepherd. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we give up ourselves and become totally His. He is our Owner, our Master!
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures;” (Psalm 23:2a)
Sheep normally do not lie down unless all these four requirements are met:
- They need to be free of all fear. Normally we get very fearful in terms of the unexpected and the unknown. We are afraid of what will happen tomorrow…but we need to trust in the One who holds our tomorrows. In the midst of our misfortunes there suddenly comes the awareness that He, the Christ, the Good Shepherd is there.
- Free from friction with others of their kind. Among sheep, constant jealousy and conflict can be very harmful for their well-being. The sheep become discontented, edgy, and restless. One of the outstanding marks of a Christian should be a serene sense of gentle contentment.
- Free of pests like flies or parasites. The sheep should not only feel free from predators, they should also be free from the fear of insects and parasites. A good shepherd normally applies various types of insect repellents to his sheep. The gracious Holy Spirit with His presence in me brings serenity, calmness, strength and quietness even in the midst of futility and frustration.
- Free of hunger. As we feed on the Word of God we grow in Him: “…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18) We need to meditate on the Word of God day and night.
“He leads me beside the still waters.” (Psalm 23:2b) The sheep will not drink at a rushing river, the waters need to be calm and slow. The Lord brings us to a place of trust, a place of confidence, a place where He can tell you Be still and know that I am God.
“He restores my soul;” (Psalm 23:3a) – Every shepherd would take each sheep in his arms and check for wounds or hurts and heals the sores. Our Good shepherd heals our broken hearts with the medicine of His precious Word
“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (Ps.23:3b) – The shepherd leads the sheep in the right path. God loves us so He corrects us, but He also does this because of His name sake.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;” (Psalm 23:4)
The valley of the shadow of death denotes the narrow paths and difficult cliffs that the sheep has to go through and even one misstep would result in certain death. The sheep however feels very secure when the shepherd is by its side.
“For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4b) The rod was a symbol of correction and discipline. He defends His sheep with His rod but He brings back the wandering or straying sheep with the shepherd’s crook. He can defend the flock from the wolves by His rod and correct us by His rod when we need it and He can keep the sheep close to Him by the staff.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;” (Psalm 23:5a)
Before the shepherd takes the sheep to feed he will survey the table land to see if there are any insects or poisonous snakes or weeds among the grass. He will scan it very carefully. He will decide clearly where the sheep will camp so they have the best bed grounds. The parallel in the Christian life is clear. Like sheep, and especially lambs, we somehow feel that we have to try everything that comes our way. We tend to try everything and many a times we are completely disappointed. Let the Lord prepare your table and govern what you feed on.
“You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. (Psalm 23:5b)”
Sheep are especially troubled by the nasal fly. These flies keep buzzing around the sheep’s head so the shepherd applies oil every day so that the flies do not trouble it. it is the disturbing thoughts that keep infesting our minds. With the oil of His Spirit, he cleanses our thought life and makes it pure.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;” (Psalm 23:6a)
This is not just a bold statement, but it is somewhat of a boast, an exclamation of implicit confidence in the One who controls his destiny and career. Of course it is very simple to speak this way when things are going well. I can say this not only when things are fine but always.
“And I will dwell in the House of the Lord for ever”
The sheep loves to return home – to the barns and fields of the owner. The sheep is fine and strong because of the care of the shepherd. Home denotes the people of God as well as our eternal home Heaven. Truly the Lord is my good Shepherd, in every sense of the word.