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Matthew 9:36 – Jesus saw that people were distressed and scattered like sheep without a shepherd. Sheep thoroughly depend on shepherds to lead them. Otherwise, they become lost, starve, etc.
John 10:2-4 – The Good Shepherd calls His sheep, leads them out, and they follow Him.
Psalms 23:3 – The Lord is my shepherd, who leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. This guidance is given through God’s word.
Modern society is like a wilderness where many are lost in spiritual confusion and error. Through that wilderness, Jesus leads His people like a shepherd leading his flock.
Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. People are like sheep wandering in a desert seeking spiritual nourishment we need to know how to be right with God. Where do we get this nourishment?
John 10:9 – If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Psalms 23:2 – Our Shepherd makes us to lie down in green pastures; He leads beside the still waters.
The teachings of the Good Shepherd provide the spiritual nourishment we need to be right with God.
Sheep are among the most defenseless of animals. Without protection, they are caught by predators or stolen by thieves. Our greatest danger is when we wander from the flock.
1 Peter 5:8 – Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way. We need One who cares about us enough to protect us and seek those who wander.
John 10:10 – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Luke 15:3-7 – The shepherd left the 99 in the safety of the fold to seek the one that strayed.
This shows Jesus’ love and care for the sheep. But He does not force the sheep to stay with Him. He leads them, and they must choose whether to follow or to wander away.
What does this have to do with the Lord's Supper? The Good Shepherd gave His life for the sheep.
John 10:11 – I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
John 10:15 – I lay down My life for the sheep.
Sometimes a shepherd dies fighting wolves or other enemies of the sheep. The death of our Shepherd was necessary to save us from our sins. This shows how horrible sin is, and how much Jesus loves us.
1 Peter 2:25 – For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. All of us at times have wandered from the Shepherd. But the Good Shepherd suffered and gave His life to protect us from the consequences of our own wrongs.
Our Shepherd not only guides us, nourishes us, and seeks us when we go astray, but He also gave His life to save us from spiritual death. Each first day of the week we remember the death of our Good Shepherd in the Lord's Supper.
Click here to learn more about the Lord's Supper.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019; www.gospelway.com
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.