The Lord is My Shepherd

By on January 24, 2018

The Lord is my shepherd ~ by Marta Greenman

Have you ever noticed how often Jesus called people sheep? The term is used over 500 times in the Bible. How do these illustrations relate to our relationship to Jesus and the Christian faith? What we can learn about a shepherd and his sheep will give us insight into who Jesus is, and His relationship with believers.

Sheep are often called dumb or stupid and from just a small amount of research I found, the label is undeserved.

One of the reasons sheep are called dumb, is their need to stay in groups, it’s built into their DNA. But God designed sheep with this nesting instinct as a protection mechanism. Sheep are defenseless animals; they need protecting. If a sheep is alone it is virtually defenseless and can easily be grabbed by a predator.

As believers, we need to nest together. God’s Word teaches, “let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near(Hebrews 10:24-25).

Community (a body of believers-church) is God’s design to protect believers from ravenous wolves who want to devour God’s flock. What has helped me in the area of community, is a weekly Bible study, in addition to a weekly church meeting. A Bible study where the teacher asks questions and people discuss Scripture. One that requires homework and engages you in God’s Word and in one another’s lives—a Bible study that will challenge you intellectually and welcomes you regardless of your biblical knowledge. This may seem like an impossible task but well worth the time and effort. Begin to pray for God to lead you to such a group or possibly to begin a group in your home or church.

Another trait of sheep is their ability to know familiar voices. John 10:2-5 teaches, “But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.

In biblical times when shepherds came into a town they kept their sheep in a sheep pen. Everyone’s sheep was placed in the same pen. When it was time for the shepherd to leave he simply went to the door (opening) and called the sheep because they knew their shepherd’s voice and would follow him. If an impostor tried to come in, and take the sheep, it was useless because the sheep would not follow.

The illustration of Jesus as our Good Shepherd, and us as His sheep, but how will we know His voice?   

The best way to know someone is to spend time with him or her; this would be the same with our Good Shepherd. How can we know His voice if we don’t spend time with Him? When we know God’s Word, we will know the voice of Jesus. The Bible is His voice. God’s Words were engraved for us thousands of years ago to know and understand who He is. If you know Jesus, you will know God. John 14:7 teaches, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.
When we know God’s Word, we will not be able to be lead astray by the cheap impostors with which the world tries to entice us. We will be so aligned with our Father’s voice that we will immediately tune out deceivers.

The relationship between sheep and shepherd is an interesting relationship. “The welfare of the sheep depends solely upon the care they get from their shepherd. Therefore, the better the shepherd, the healthier the sheep (sic). When you see weak, sickly, or pest-infested sheep, you can be sure that their shepherd really does not care for them.”1

The most important job of the shepherd is to protect the sheep. If a sheep wanders, its very life is in danger and the shepherd leaves the other sheep to find the wayward one. If a young lamb has a habit of drifting, the shepherd will break the legs of the lamb and keep it close while the lamb heals. Once the lamb is healthy again it will never stray from the shepherd.

Trust in the Good Shepherd to lead, guide and direct you in all understanding, knowing that He has left you with a Helper to assist you. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you(John 14:26).

 

1 Kay Arthur, Beloved: From God’s Heart to Yours (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1995), 176.

 

Marta founded Words of Grace & Truth, a ministry devoted to teaching God’s Word to the nations, and teaching others to do the same through the curriculum God birth’s through this teaching ministry. Her first study Bound To Be Free was published the same year. She has two additional studies Leaders, Nations, and ACTs420NOW. She is a gifted teacher, speaker, and her latest project is a radio program entitled Under God. 

Marta Greenman

About Marta Greenman

Marta Greenman’s life calling is to inspire other’s to fall in love with God and teach them how to study His Word to bring change in their lives. She is the founder of Words of Grace & Truth, author of two published Bible studies, Bible teacher, conference speaker, and wife to Marshall. You can find Marta's testimony and studies at wogt.org.

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The Lord is My Shepherd