The Good Shepherd
June 26, 2017 • By Ed Wrather
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1 NKJV.
I (Jesus) am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. – John 10:11 NKJV.
I have often heard that sheep will aimlessly follow other sheep off of a cliff. This literally happened in Turkey in 2005 when about 1,500 sheep followed one another off of a cliff with a drop off of around 90 feet. The first 450 sheep died from the fall with the rest being cushioned somewhat by the sheep that had died from their fall.
We people are much like sheep in that we need a shepherd, a good shepherd, who will keep us from falling off the cliffs of life. King David, knew from his life experiences who that good shepherd was who guided him.
The Biblical analogy of people being like sheep is not a flattering one. Sheep are unable to adequately care for themselves and their ability to survive on their own is very limited. People are much like sheep in that we will at times blindly follow others to our doom. The Peoples Temple cult founded by Jim Jones is an example. The result of blindly following Jones was the murder/suicide of 918 people in Guyana in 1978.
Sheep, however, led by a good shepherd live a peaceful contented life under his protection with all their needs provided. This is how Jesus, the Good Shepherd, wants to care for us.
To be a contented sheep under the care of the Good Shepherd we need to have the mindset of a sheep. A sheep is not constantly thinking about all that it doesn’t have. As people sheep we should not be thinking constantly about what we don’t have. It may be true that you are not living in the house of your dreams, or that you do not have the perfect job, or the ideal husband, or wife. To be a contented people sheep do not focus on what you don’t have. Focus instead on what you do have.
A contented sheep is not focused on possessions. Jesus tells us, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (Luke 12:15).” Instead, focus on your blessings like the old hymn says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done.”
The Good Shepherd is watching out for His sheep, which means that He is taking care of many of the details to bring good into our lives just as Romans 8:28 says. Knowing Jesus as your personal Savior means that you have a Good Shepherd who wants the best for you, and will never ever lead you off of a cliff. Trust Him!