Two of best loved psalms present God as shepherd (23:1 The Lord is My Shepherd I shall not want…, 100:3 we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture).
Jeremiah promised that God will gather his people as shepherd (Jer. 31:10 ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock’)
Jesus shows God’s care for the lost in terms of a Shepherd (Lk. 15:4 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?)
Peter shares God’s pastoral responsibility with elders (1 Pet 5:2, 4 shepherd the flock of God, that is among you, exercising oversight…and when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.)
The Good Shepherd Provides vs. 9-10
Jesus is the gate of his sheep fold—image is about more than an entrance.
1) Protection: Jesus gives us salvation and therefore he gives safety.
2) Provision: It is in Jesus that we come and go to have our needs met.
The Good Shepherd Sacrifices vs. 11-13
Shepherds who know their sheep will put themselves on the line. Remember how David fought lions and bears to protect his sheep? While David put himself on the line, Jesus put Himself on the Cross!
I John 3:16-18 Pew Bible Page 1303
The cross of Christ was not one-time static event in history—it is our life. 1) It calls us to accept God’s grace and follow the Good Shepherd daily. 2) It calls us to a life of self-sacrifice and surrender as we live with others. 3) It calls us to give up pride, conceit, and our demands to get our way.
The Good Shepherd Knows the Sheep and is Known by them vs. 14
The first century shepherds knew their sheep by name. What kept the sheep in line was the sound of the shepherd’s voice.
The Good Shepherd knows all of his sheep, even when we don’t. (John 10:16) Christianity is Exclusive—only those who know the Shepherd. But it is also Inclusive—ALL those who know the Shepherd.
Do You Know the Shepherd’s Voice?
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.