The Word and the words (12): Jesus – the good shepherd …

“I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11).

We read what Jesus says about himself. We read about who he is.

“I am the good shepherd.”

As we read these words, our thoughts turn to the 23rd Psalm.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 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 your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:1-6).

Read the words of David, the Psalmist – and think of Jesus, our Saviour. The Shepherd is our Saviour. Our Saviour is the Shepherd. The Lord is more than the Shepherd. He is my Shepherd. Jesus is more than the Saviour. He is my Saviour. The Shepherd, my Shepherd – we emphasize both.The Saviour, my Saviour – we emphasize both.

We begin with Jesus’ words,”I am the good shepherd.” When he says this about himself, what is he saying to us? Is he saying, ‘There are many shepherds. You can choose the one that you like most’? No! That’s not what he’s saying. What he’s saying is this, “I am the good shepherd.” There are many who are called by God to be “shepherds of God’s flock” (1 Peter 5:2). Jesus is “the chief shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4). He is, also, the “great shepherd” (Hebrews 13:20).

What does the Word of God tell us about Jesus – the good shepherd, the great shepherd and the chief shepherd?

Here’s what it tells us – the good shepherd “lays down his life” for us (John 10:11); the great shepherd was brought back from the dead” for us (Hebrews 13:20); the chief shepherd will give to us “the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:4).

Jesus died for us. He rose from the dead for us. He will come again for us.

When we read what God’s Word says to us about Jesus – the good shepherd, the great shepherd and the chief shepherd, we see how unique and how wonderful he is!

How are we to be faithful and fruitful “shepherds of God’s flock”? – We are to direct attention away from ourselves to Jesus – the good shepherd, the great shepherd and the chief shepherd. May God help us to glorify Jesus, our Saviour.

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