“I came that they [the sheep] may have life and have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”John 10:10b-11 (ESV)
Sheep need a shepherd who provides, leads, and protects the sheep. The Good Shepherd laid down His life to give you and me life.
“Yahweh is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.Psalm 23:1-2 LSB
The shepherd makes sure that the sheep have enough to eat and drink. Sheep are skittish, and they will not drink from churning waters; the water must be still. In the midst of turmoil, we turn our eyes to the whirling waters around us. When our eyes focus on the swirl instead of the Good Shepherd, He prompts us to rest and drink from His living water.
“He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”Psalm 23:3 LSB
Sheep have a tendency to stray from the flock to munch on greener grass just a few yards away. The shepherd brings the sheep back to the flock. We have a tendency to see something more attractive and step a few yards away from God’s path of righteousness, then we see something even more attractive farther away, and soon, we’ve lost sight of the flock. Our Good Shepherd leaves the flock to find us and bring us back, Luke 15:4-7.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”Psalm 23:4 (LSB)
When David said that he would defend Israel against Goliath, King Saul objected. David told Saul that he was a shepherd. When a lion or bear took a lamb, he went after it and rescued the lamb from the lion’s mouth. When it went after David, he struck it and killed it, 1 Samuel 17:34-35. David laid down his life for the sheep. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for His followers.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.”Psalm 23:5 (LSB)
Although enemies are watching and waiting for us to stray a few feet away from the Good Shepherd, we remain at the banqueting table He has prepared for us. Worms often tormented the sheep’s head. Shepherds would run oil on their noses and heads to prevent the worms.
Worms of deceit may try to infiltrate our heads and torment us, but the Good Shepherd anoints our heads with healing oil that sets us apart as His sheep. The worms flee.
Abundant grace is ours in the Good Shepherd’s presence.
“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will pursue me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of Yahweh forever.”Psalm 23:6 LSB
Remembering the goodness of God’s shepherding in his life, David understands that His Good Shepherd runs after him with lovingkindness, and David will dwell with His Good Shepherd forever.
God’s goodness and lovingkindness are ours when we dwell in God’s house.
“For thus says Lord Yahweh, ‘Behold, I Myself will seek My sheep and care for them. … As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,’ declares Lord Yahweh.’”Ezekiel 34:11, 31 LSB
The Babe in the manger is the Good Shepherd who gives abundant life to His sheep. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for you and me.
Jesus came to provide, lead, protect, and save us from ourselves – from our sins.
The Good Shepherd laid down His life to give you and me life.Tweet
Our Good Shepherd, thank You for Your goodness and lovingkindness. In You, we have eternal life. In You, we have abundance. In You, we shall not want. We are Your sheep. Amen.
- Read John 10:1-15 and Psalm 23. What does the Scripture reveal about Jesus?
- What do you learn about yourself from this Scripture?
- How does this Scripture influence your thoughts about Christmas?
God’s Goodness Runs After Us
CeCe Winans Sings, The Goodness of God
Featured photo by James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Good Shepherd, The Brooklyn Museum,