Psalm 23 is all about the ministry of the good shepherd – who is Jesus. In John 10:11 Jesus told His disciples, “I am the good shepherd,”. Everyone listening to Jesus at that time knew exactly what Jesus was saying. In the time and day of Jesus they all understood the relationship of the shepherd to sheep. The shepherd was one who cared for, protected, and provided for the sheep.
Jesus Your Shepherd
Jesus was saying He would be our shepherd and we would be His sheep. (Psalm 100:3) As Christians we believe and know Jesus was the lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) We know He died on the cross two thousand years ago to pay the price for our sins, but do we know Him as “our shepherd”? His work on the cross is finished, but today Jesus lives and continues to minister to His followers – you and me as our shepherd. Jesus is the master shepherd and today He protects and provides for us.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 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. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 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)
Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, but He is at work today as our Shepherd. Psalm 23 is one of best know chapters in all the Bible, but very few really appreciate all that it is telling. Psalm 23 gives us a detailed picture of what Jesus the shepherd does for us today. Here is a short verse by verse teaching of Jesus the Shepherd and who He should be to you;
Verse 1 – YOUR PROVIDER.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” First you must accept and receive Jesus as your shepherd. Jesus can be your savior yet not your shepherd. It is about RELATIONSHIP. Then as your shepherd He provides for every need you will ever have (Philippians 4:19). This a Jesus the PROVIDER.
Verse 2 – YOUR REST.
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” Jesus the good Shepherd will lead you to a place of rest. True rest is only found in Him. “Come unto me and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28) Sometimes we are unwilling to rest. Often we become anxious and so busy with life we lose our peace. The good shepherd brings us to a place of peace and rest if we will follow Him.
Verse 3 – YOUR RESTORER.
“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Sometimes we can drift away from the path that God has for us. When we grow weary and fainthearted with the troubles of life or do things that aren’t right He is ready to restore and refresh us and help get us back on the right path.
Verse 4 – YOUR PROTECTION.
“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.” When we encounter trouble and difficulty in life Jesus the Shepherd is there to watch over us and help us through. He is a very present help in trouble. He never leaves us or forsakes us. We have His Word and Spirit to help us overcome and keep us.
Verse 5 – YOUR SOURCE OF ABUNDANCE
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. When the enemies of fear, doubt, loneliness, etc. try to bring you down the good Shepherd provides an abundance of mercy, grace, power, favor, etc. so, you can be more than a conqueror through Him. You cup will run over with more than enough.
Verse 6 – YOUR SECURITY IN ETERNAL LIFE.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” God’s goodness and mercy are sure things! You can’t get away from them! Through thick and thin and the ups and downs they are always there making sure to keep you secure for all eternity. In John 10:27-28 Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
We need the provision, comfort and protection of the good shepherd. Let Jesus be your Good Shepherd. When you do – He will overflow your cup, give you rest, provide your every need, bring you through the valley and surround you with goodness and mercy. Jesus is always at work ministering to us. He is – Jesus Your Shepherd!