The Good Shepherd

by Roby Ellis          SPANISH/ESPAÑOL

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (Psalm 23:1).

Probably a close second to John 3:16, this verse is (for good reason) among the best known in the entire Bible. What a comforting thought it is to us today—as it must have been to David, this psalm’s author—to know that the Lord is watching over us and has our well-being in mind at all times! The mystery behind God’s abiding love for man is one of which the psalmist wrote (Psalm 8:4, 144:3) and one which surpasses the understanding of His children even today. Although the reasons for God’s affection toward man lie beyond our mortal abilities of comprehension, this love should cause us to love God in return (1 John 4:19).

In this text, Jesus compares God’s love for His children to that which a shepherd has for his sheep. As Jesus points out in His parable, there is no one in heaven or on earth that can love God’s children the way that He does. In fact, so great is Jesus’ love for the sheep that He was willing to surrender His own physical life for their sakes (John 10:15). How remarkable is the fact that the Jews in His audience, unto whom had been committed the oracles of God (Romans 3:2), did not understand what Jesus was trying to teach them here (John 10:6)! Nonetheless, His disciples would be reminded of these sayings by the Holy Spirit, that Comforter which Jesus promised to send to remind them of the things He had taught them during His ministry (John 14:26). That this promise was fulfilled is evident in the teachings of the apostle Peter in particular, who said, “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25, emp. added). In the same epistle we read, “[W]hen the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Peter 5:4). In both of these texts, Peter is clearly identifying Jesus as the Good Shepherd. It is reasonable to think that sometime during Cornelius’ conversion, Peter must also have been reminded of these words: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16, ASV).

What a blessed assurance it is to know that we have a shepherd who was willing to lay down His own life so that we “may have life, and…have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)! As Jesus said, “no one is able to snatch [us] out of [His] Father’s hand” (John 10:29) so long as we continue to hear the Shepherd’s voice and follow Him (John 10:27)!

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