I am a part of a small group meeting at the home of a sheep farmer. I grew up in the city. The closest I ever got to animals was at the zoo, and sheep certainly were not the animals that I was drawn to. Yet a sheep is what I am likened to in the Bible—not the speed of a cheetah, or the strength of a lion, or even the beauty of a bird. Just a dumb sheep.
As I have seen these sheep week after week, I realize how much they need someone to care for them. God could have likened us to an animal created with the ability to protect and care for ourselves, but He did not. He says that we are like sheep and in need of the care the shepherd offers.
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 right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I 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 mercyshall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
A shepherd cares for his sheep's every need. He protects them from the things which desire to prey upon them, he provides for their physical needs, he binds up their wounds and tends to them until they have regained strength. The shepherd fights off wild beasts, caring more for the sheep’s life than for his own. The sheep trust their shepherd. They follow him when he calls and know that he will provide and care for them. Sheep never fight against their shepherd.
Have you considered what it means for Jesus to be your Good Shepherd? It is peace, comfort, trust, security, love, and abundance. But it was also death.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Jesus laid down His life that we might live. Sheep were created to follow and depend on their shepherd. Are you a happy sheep? Are you content to be cared for by the Shepherd? Do you know the voice of the Good Shepherd and joyfully follow His Word?
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, thorough Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.