Posts Tagged ‘Good Shepherd’

The shepherd and his flock

January 6, 2018

Ezekiel 34--11 jpeg

The verse featured on the home page of the Logos Bible Software on January 6, 2018 portrays God as a shepherd in Ezekiel 34:11, but to comprehend more fully this comparison, let us take a look at the entire passage:

Ezekiel 34:11-16 (New Living Translation):

11 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them!

In many of the Psalms written by David, who himself served as a shepherd in the early years of his life, we find references to “the shepherd” as a title for God and Israel as the sheep of His flock

Psalm 80:1 (NLT)

Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory

This image of God as a shepherd points to his continual direction, guidance and care for His people.

Psalm 95:7 (NLT):

For he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

Psalm 79:13 (NLT):

Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation.

Psalm 100:3 (NLT):

Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

In thinking of qualities of “the good shepherd,” one who pursues the lost sheep, provides for, and protects them, Psalm 23 comes to mind. As one of my favorite psalms, I committed it to memory as a youngster and continue to draw strength from these comforting words:

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.

Although the references from the Old Testament reveal God’s compassion as a shepherd who watches over Israel, in the New Testament as well we find that Jesus Christ uses a similar metaphor in 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.

1 Peter 5:2 (AMP) speaks of the Church as “the flock of God” and exhorts elders, pastors (another term for shepherd) and spiritual leaders:

shepherd and guide and protect the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not [motivated] for shameful gain, but with wholehearted enthusiasm;

We, thus, see that metaphor of the shepherd and his sheep extends throughout the Scriptures.

We close our discussion with one of the most popular songs of worship related to the figure of the Good Shepherd: the Don Moen classic: “Like a Shepherd He Leads Us”:

 

The Lord is the good shepherd

March 17, 2017

The Verse of the Day for March 17, 2017 opens one of the most recognized passages from the Psalms:

Psalm 23:1-3 (NKJV)

[The Lord the Shepherd of His People] [A Psalm of David.] 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.

In the Gospel of John, we note 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 following verses the Lord 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 the qualities of “the good shepherd,” Psalm 23 in its entirety 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.

In Psalm 23 we also find the Hebrew expression Jehovah-Raah (The Lord my Shepherd), also translated “The Lord shepherds me.” The name “Jehovah” denotes God, the Creator in relationship with His creation. Another word derived from “Raah” is “Rea,” translated “friend” or “companion.” Upon closer examination, we see God’s desire for intimacy with His people, revealed in the name Jehovah-Raah: “The Lord, my shepherd” or “The Lord, my friend.”

One of the most 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 the Lord, indeed, is our shepherd and that he is certainly a good one.

Like a shepherd, the Good Shepherd

December 6, 2016

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.

The Good Shepherd: Like a shepherd he leads us

March 17, 2016

Psalm 23--2

The Verse of the Day for March 17, 2016 is taken Psalm 23:1-3 in the Holman Standard Christian Bible, one of the most recognized and recited passages in the Old Testament:

[Psalm 23] [The Good Shepherd] [A Davidic psalm.] The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He renews my life; He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake.

Additional specific qualities of “the good shepherd” can be seen in the remaining verses of Psalm 23, one of my favorite psalms that I committed to memory as a youngster and a source 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.

Psalm 23 was also the inspiration behind this brief reflective piece:

Spring Green

Psalm 23

Grass green hillsides arch

and flow toward a quiet stream

where rest newborn lambs.

In the Gospel of John, we find seven metaphors used by Jesus Christ to describe himself in order that his followers might understand to an even greater degree who he is and what he came to do. He speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10:11:

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

In John 10:14-15 he reiterates this point:

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

This indicates 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, as this phrase is used three times in the sheepfold discourse.

Listen to this dramatization of the words of Jesus Christ from John 10:1-18 with its references to the Good Shepherd:

The classic Don Moen composition also describes the Lord: “Like a shepherd, he leads us”:

The Good Shepherd: yet another metaphor

December 6, 2015

John 10--14

Some of the recent Verses of the Day have been taken from passages that reveal seven metaphors spoken by Jesus, all of which occur in the Gospel of John. In these scriptural references where the Lord attempts to describe himself in order to help his listeners to better understand who he is. Metaphors provide direct comparisons between two subjects, in an effort to paint a vivid mind picture of one object in terms of the other.

The Verse of the Day for December 6, 2015 is one of two references to the Good Shepherd:

John 10:14-15 (AMP):

I am the Good Shepherd, and I know [without any doubt those who are] My own and My own know Me [and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]— even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it] for the benefit of the sheep.

Some of the specific qualities of “the good shepherd” can be found in Psalm 23, one of the most recognized and recited passages from the Book of Psalms:

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.

The second metaphorical reference to Jesus states, “I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” This indicates 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, as this phrase is used three times in the sheepfold discourse.

The accompanying painting by 19th Century German artist Bernard Plockhorst depicts the Good Shepherd whose sheep follow Him willingly and eagerly because he is willing to do anything for their well being, even if it means laying down his own life.

The accompanying painting by 19th Century German artist Bernard Plockhorst depicts the Good Shepherd whose sheep follow Him willingly and eagerly because he is willing to do anything for their well being, even if it means laying down his own life.

The following video provides a graphic and musical illustration of Psalm 23:

It is certainly comforting to know that Lord, indeed, is our shepherd and that he is a good one.
The classic song of worship by Don Moen describes the Lord: “Like a Shepherd”:

The Good Shepherd: one of seven metaphors

December 6, 2013
the_lord_is_my_good_shepherd

The accompanying painting by 19th Century German artist Bernard Plockhorst depicts the Good Shepherd whose sheep follow Him willingly and eagerly because he is willing to do anything for their well being, even if it means laying down his own life.

Some of the recent Verses of the Day have been taken from passages that reveal the seven metaphors spoken by Jesus, all of which occur in the Gospel of John.  In these scriptural references the Lord attempts to describe himself in order to help his listeners to better understand who he is. Metaphors provide direct comparisons between two subjects, in an effort to paint a vivid mind picture of one object in terms of the other.

The Verse of the Day for December 6, 2013 is one of two references to the Good Shepherd:

John 10:14-15

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Some of the specific qualities of “the good shepherd” can be found in Psalm 23, one of the most recognized and recited passages from the Book of Psalms:

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.

The second metaphorical reference to Jesus states, “I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” This indicates 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, as this phrase is used three times in the sheepfold discourse.

The following video provides a graphic and musical illustration of Psalm 23:

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