When I was younger, I would have described a shepherd as a dude wearing a robe and having a towel tied around his head. He also would be wearing sandals and carrying a crooked walking stick. While that does describe the attire of shepherds in Jesus’ day (and some in this day, too), a shepherd is much more that what he wears. In fact, Jesus is the greatest example of a good shepherd. Let’s explore Psalm 23 and John 10 which both talk about the Good Shepherd.
The Good Shepherd cares and provides for His sheep. “The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need. 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…You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:1-3,5). Jesus said, “When He [the Good Shepherd] has brought all His own outside, He goes ahead of them” (John 10:4). The Good Shepherd leads out the sheep each day so that they can graze and find water.
The Good Shepherd leads His sheep. “He leads me beside quiet waters…He leads me along the right paths for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:2-3). Jesus said, “He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought all His own outside, He goes ahead of them. The sheep follow Him because they know His voice” (John 10:3-4). The Good Shepherd knows His sheep intimately, and they know Him such that they recognize His voice and follow Him.
The Good Shepherd protects His sheep. “Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4-5). Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). The Good Shepherd is alert for danger because He cares for His sheep, and He is willing to give it all for the sheep because He loves them.
The Good Shepherd loves His sheep and is good to them. “Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live” (Psalm 23:6). “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11). The Good Shepherd didn’t begin loving the sheep because they loved Him first. The Good Shepherd initiated love for the sheep, so His love is not contingent on the sheep’s love.
The Good Shepherd doesn’t abandon His sheep. “for you are with me…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live” (Psalm 23:4,6). “The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. The hired hand, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he sees a wolf coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. This happens because he is a hired hand and doesn’t care about the sheep” (John 10:11-13). Because the Good Shepherd’s love is not based on the sheep’s love for Him, He doesn’t abandon them when times are tough or when their love for Him wanes.
I love the Good Shepherd.
This week you’ll read…
Proverbs 16-22: “All a person’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs motives” (Proverbs 16).
Ezekiel 21-31: “‘Your heart became proud because of your beauty; For the sake of your splendor you corrupted your wisdom. So I threw you down to the ground; I made you a spectacle before kings” (Ezekiel 28).
John 10-14: “Jesus wept” (John 11).
- November 15 (Fri):
- November 16 (Sat):
- November 17 (Sun):
- November 18 (Mon):
- November 19 (Tues):
- November 20 (Wed):
- November 21 (Thurs):
CSB are daily readings linked to The Christian Standard Bible on BibleGateway.com.
MSG are daily readings linked to The Message Bible on BibleGateway.com.
NLT are daily readings linked to The New Living Translation on
 All Scripture from CSB (Christian Standard Bible).