Like a shepherd, the Good Shepherd

john-10-11In the Gospel of John, we have been examining the seven metaphors used by Jesus Christ to describe himself in order that his followers might understand to an even greater degree just who he is and what he came to do. One of the most recognized direct comparisons that his followers would recognize immediately is his reference to being “the good shepherd,” a phrase that is used three times to show completion of a unified figure:

In John 10:11, the Lord Jesus Christ states,

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

In the Verse of the Day for December 6, 2016, he also speaks of himself in this way:

John 10:14-15 (NKJV):

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

These verses indicate that the shepherd is fully committed to his sheep and consequently has their full trust. The good shepherd cares so much for his sheep that he is even willing to lay down his life for the sheep.

In thinking of qualities of “the good shepherd,” Psalm 23 comes to mind, as one of my favorite psalms committed to memory as a youngster and from which I continue to draw strength:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, 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 runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

One of the popular songs of worship related to the figure of the Good Shepherd is the Don Moen classic: “Like a Shepherd He Leads Us”:

How comforting to know that Lord, indeed, is our shepherd, and he is certainly a good one.

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