“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me … I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Psalm 23, one of the best-known passages of the Bible, presents the Lord as the great shepherd who cares for his sheep—and Jesus declared that he is that shepherd.
The preceding psalm, Psalm 22, describes prophetically many details of Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus connected his death to this psalm as he cried out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1; Mark 15:34). (See also Psalm 22:7-18, 22-25.)
Jesus is the good and supreme shepherd. He died in our place so that we could have eternal life with God.
As the good shepherd, he gives us provision, direction, and fellowship. He is the one who leads us to green pastures and still waters. He is the one who guides us in righteousness and walks with us through dark times. He is the one who gives us victory over our enemies. (See Psalm 23.)
He promises to walk with us here and to receive us when we leave this life and go to live with him (John 14:1-2).
As the supreme shepherd, Jesus will return in majesty and glory, and he will bring his glorious kingdom to fill the whole earth and make it new (Revelation 21:1-7).
Are you one of Jesus Christ’s sheep? Do you hear his voice? Are you ready to follow him?
Eternal God, I have relief, peace, and security, knowing that you are my shepherd. Help me submit to your will and rest entirely in your care. In your name I pray. Amen.
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