The Good Shepherd Part 2
How blessed we are to have a Shepherd that has compassion on us(Math.9:36), is the Guardian of our souls(1Pet.2:25), and lays down His life for the sheep(John 10:11) Three times in the New Testament, Jesus is represented as a shepherd, He is the Good Shepherd in John 10:11, He is the Great Shepherd of the sheep in Heb.13:20, and He is the Chief Shepherd in 1Pet.5:4. He is the Good Shepherd because He lays down His life for the sheep, He is the Great Shepherd of the sheep Who gathers the sheep into the fold and leads them in the way of peace, and He is the Chief Shepherd from Whom we will receive the unfading crown of glory. He is indeed a faithful Shepherd. He knows the sheep, they are His, and goodness and mercy will follow them all the days of their lives.
The Shepherd comes with nurturing gentleness. Commentator Alexander MacLaren states, "Christ is the Good Shepherd, He shows tender care for young converts, and by His providence He inflicts no more trouble, than He will strengthen them for." In Isa.40:11, the verb “tend”, or feed in Hebrew denotes more than our word nowadays. It refers all the care of a shepherd over his flock, and means to guard, to govern, to provide pasture, to defend from danger, as a shepherd does his flock. Isa.40:11 states He gathers the lambs in His arms. What a beautiful expression is this! How it denotes and calls attention to the care of God for the feeblest and weakest of His people, for the young, the weary, the exhausted, those who can no longer keep up with the strongest of the flock. He takes them in His arms and carries them.
For Isaiah reminds us in 40:28-29,"The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the Earth, does not become weary or tired, His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might, He increases power." He feeds them with Himself, the bread of life, He protects them from their enemies, the roaring and devouring lion himself, Satan, wolves in sheep's clothing, false teachers, those that He was given, He loses not one of them, He seeks those who are lost, strengthens and heals the sick, watches over them night and day, giving them grace that is sufficient for them, He is their portion, if they have Him, they have all.
Because of our Good Shepherd, we the sheep do not lack rest because of Psalm 23:2A, we the sheep do not lack guidance because of Psalm 23:2B, we the sheep do not lack safety because of Psalm 23:4, we the sheep do not lack provision because of Psalm 23:5A, and we the sheep do not lack a heavenly home because of Psalm 23:6B. For, the Good Shepherd is patient in 1Thess.5:14, for the Good Shepherd is a good example in 1Peter 5:2-4, for the Good Shepherd is self-sacrificing in Phil.2:2-3, for the Good Shepherd is moved by love in John 13:34-35. Jesus is the incomparable Shepherd of our souls, the One who is enthroned above the cherubim, the Lamb Who is in the center of the throne.
Elder Randy Slak