Psalm 23 is a very popular biblical passage which many of us took to, early in life. We memorized it in our various Sunday or/and Primary Schools and in some cases, the ability to recite it was used to gauge our knowledge of the bible. Its first verse says: ”The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want”.
As you can see, the verse elucidates one of the main functions of a Shepherd i.e., providing the needs of the sheep in his care. He gives them food to eat and water to drink. He also keeps them out of harm’s way.
All religious leaders are Shepherds in their own rights since they guide or herd groups of people. There are a lot of them all over the world, presiding over congregations of various sizes; mini and mega. And unlike their counterparts that look after animals, they don’t rear their ‘sheep’ for food or for any pecuniary gains. In actual fact, they teach and direct them in the ways of the Lord and guide them towards heaven. They are also expected, as much as possible, to help their needy ‘sheep’ with their material needs.
Jesus Christ is ‘the good Shepherds’ (John 10:14) and we are His sheep. It is on record that He loves us so much, that He died for us (John 10:11, 17) and He wants us to be with Him forever (John 14:2-4). Up till now, He is doing everything possible from heaven, to make us happy, comfortable and safe.
So what is He doing for us you may wish to ask? Well, they include the following among others:
1. He defends us
One of the foremost things that Jesus does for us is to defend us from our accusers. Please remember the story of the adulterous woman (John 8:1-11). She was caught, red handed by a mob while committing adultery and she was brought to Jesus Christ for adjudication. Yes, we know that their intention was to test Him but a word from Him condemning her, would have been enough to put her to death immediately. But being the good Shepherd, Jesus defended her robustly and the crowd had no choice than to disperse; horrified and humiliated I believe, without touching her. And at the end of the day, He did not condemn her either. Guess what? He is actively defending us in the presence of God up till now (1 John 2:1). Aren’t we lucky? Friend, whatever sins you might have committed in the past, does not matter anymore. All you have to do right now is to confess and forsake them and the good Shepherd, Jesus, will forgive and defend you vigorously to the end.
2. He removes our shame
The good Shepherd is also adept at removing our shame. Please recall the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11), which was attended by Jesus, His disciples and His mother among others. Soon, the celebrants ran out of wine and everlasting shame was looming ahead but Jesus, the good shepherd, was on hand to bail them out by removing their shame. So what did He do? Well, He simply turned ordinary water into wine of the finest caliber which was subsequently served to the guests at the party. My dear friend, is there anything constituting shame in your life at present? Or better put, is there any issue that you dare not discuss with anyone because of the shame that it carries? If your answer is yes, then you need to approach this same Jesus, the good shepherd, today and He will remove it completely (John 8:36) to the glory of God and to the shame of the Devil. Amen.
3. He delivers us from evil
The good Shepherd is dexterous at delivering us from evil as well. Please bear in mind that He once delivered the mad man of the Gadarenes (Luke 8:26-39) who was reputed to be greatly tormented by demons and he was perpetually naked and violent and the only place that could contain him was a tomb. That was his sad story until he had an encounter with Jesus, the good Shepherd, and he was delivered. It was documented that the next time he was seen in public, he was sitting at the feet of Jesus Christ, clothed and in his right mind. This Jesus, is ready to repeat the same feat in this age and time as well (Mathew 11:28). Therefore, if you are being tormented by an evil spirit that pushes you to do what you shouldn’t do or that deters you from doing what is right, please approach Him today and He’ll deliver you. Amen.
4. He revives us
Jesus also revives us. For instance, He revived the daughter of Jairus when the need arose (Luke 8:40-56)! Jairus by the way was a ruler of the synagogue. Earlier on, he approached Jesus to revive his dying daughter and He agreed to do so. But along the line, a significant event i.e. the healing of a woman with the issue of blood of twelve years duration, cropped up and it hindered His movement. So, by the time He eventually got to her, she was already dead. But trust Jesus, the good Shepherd; not even death could stop Him from living up to expectation. Despite negative comments around, He nonetheless went to the girl and commanded her to arise and she did. That is, He revived her back to life! He is still in the business of reviving people back to life till today (John 11:25-26) and He can also revive your ailing body or business, ministry, education, career, marriage, etc. back to life if you wish (Luke 1:37). Please, approach Him today and you’ll not be disappointed by the grace of God. Amen
5. He guides us towards Heaven
The good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, in addition, guides us towards Heaven; a strikingly beautiful place (Revelation 21:9-21) and our final resting abode. However, we have to be born again first, to reach it (John 3:3). In other words, we must be ready to allow Jesus Christ to take charge of our lives as our personal Lord and Savior first. Friend, are you born again? If you are not then, I urge you to do something about that today. To begin with, confess your sin and forsake them immediately. Next, ask Jesus Christ, the good Shepherd, to forgive you and to take over your life and He is desirous of doing so (John 6:37, Revelation 3:20). It is after taking this simple but giant step, and after you have ended your journey on earth, that He will be on hand in Heaven, to usher you in royally (Matthew 25:21). But if you are already born again, I say a big BRAVO to you! May the good Lord empower you to remain steadfast to the end and may you not miss getting to Heaven for any reason in Jesus name. Amen.
Jesus is Lord!
c Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2006