By Pastor/Teacher, James R. Paxton
Almost everybody is familiar with the 23rd Psalm. It is a beautiful passage of scripture. Many are those who have been blessed by it. Let us take a few moments and consider what it says. We don’t have space for the whole Psalm but we can get a lot by just looking at the beginning.
The word “the” is singular. It is very specific by eliminating all others. There may be many cars in a parking lot but when I am going to thee car, there is only one I am talking about. Jesus is the good Shepherd and that is who this passage is talking about.
Next let us look at the word Lord. What is it implying? It is telling us that Jesus is not only a shepherd, He is also “the” Lord. Many might lay claim to that title but there is only one who is Lord of all. That’s Jesus.
Next we find the word “is”. That is telling us that Jesus is unchanging and never can be pushed back into was and never can be pushed only into will be. He was and will be because He always is. Heb 13:8 declares: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forver.” When someone picked up a Bible 1500 years ago and read the 23rd Psalm, Jesus was the shepherd and will be 1500 years from now.
Now let us look at the next word. “My”. He not only makes Himself available to the writer of the 23rd Psalm, when I receive Him as my Lord it means the same thing to me as it did to the original writer. He accepts me when I accept Him.
Shepherd. What does that imply? A shepherd has certain responsibilities. He watches over sheep. He monitors the weather. He watches for enemies. He gives his sheep comfort, protection and tender care. The sheep depend on him to guard against wolves, bears, lions or whatever may try to destroy the sheep. A sheep cannot drink from turbulent water. Their nose is made in such a way that they would drown trying to drink from that water. It must be still. The shepherd takes them to where they can drink safely. Sheep aren’t smart enough to fend for themselves. Without a shepherd they perish.
We are the same. If we do not have Jesus as our Shepherd, we will likewise perish. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and knows and cares for His sheep. Of ourselves we are no match for our enemy but our enemy is no match for Jesus. How is it with you?