Summary: This message looks at Psalm 23 verses 1-3 and how Jesus the Good Shepherd provides of His flock.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
The 23rd Psalm is one of the most popular chapters in the Bible. David the author of the Psalm compares God’s love and guidance to a Shepherd caring for his flock of sheep. David had spent many years of his life as a shepherd and was well acquainted with the characteristics of sheep.
About all I know about sheep personally is that they are fun to ride. I had class mates in school that had sheep on their farm in Kansas. After school we would walk to his farm about ½ mile out of town and try to ride bucking sheep. You can grab a handful of wool and go for a fast ride until you got bucked off.
Psalm 23:1-3 David describes how the Shepherd provides for his flock.
Psalm 23:4-6 David describes how the Shepherd protects his flock.
This morning we are going to look at the first half of the Psalm – How the Good Shepherd Provides for His Flock.” Next Sunday we will look at the second half.
John 10:11 Jesus declared that He is the Good Shepherd.
A good shepherd takes care of his flock of sheep. He will risk his life to protect his sheep because losing a sheep is losing a part of himselve. A shepherd loves his sheep, and will risk everything for them. Being a shepherd is not just an occupation. He knows the identity of each sheep and each sheep is part of his heart. He knows their weaknesses and which ones tend to stray. He knows what they like to eat and what they shouldn’t eat.
The Psalmist notes that a good shepherd provides nourishment for his sheep. He provides restoration and guidance. Like a loving father watching over his children a good shepherd watches over his sheep.
I. “The Lord is My Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1)
David begins the 23 Psalm by saying: “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
David didn’t say, “The Lord is a Shepherd.” The Lord is not one shepherd among many. The Lord is one Lord God creator of the Universe. Just as Jesus said “He was not a way or a truth or a life.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Jesus is the only way to heaven. The Lord is the only Shepherd.
It is important that you can say, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
#A Sunday school teacher visited a young boy from his class who was dying. The teacher wondered what he could say to the boy. After a short visit the teacher told the young boy, “Remember, the Lord is your Shepherd.”
To help the boy remember the truth the teacher asked the boy to hold up five fingers and repeat the words, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” The teacher asked the boy to repeat the words touching each finger. When the little boy counted to the ring finger, he grabbed his own chubby finger with the other hand, repeating, “My…my Shepherd.” “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
The next morning the little boy did not wake up. He was asleep in Jesus. The parents found his chubby hand still holding his fourth finger. In death the Lord was his Shepherd.
It’s not enough to say, “The Lord used to be my Shepherd.” It’s not enough to say “The Lord will be my Shepherd someday.”
Jesus is your Good Shepherd. He is a kind Shepherd: When self-proclaimed religious executioners wanted to stone to death a woman captured in the act of adultery, Jesus stayed their hands. He told the woman to “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
Your Good Shepherd can take care of sickness. When a woman sneaked up behind Jesus and touched the hem of His garment, she was immediately healed. (Mark 5:27)
When disciples were caught in a storm and believed they would be tossed into the sea and drown Jesus came to their rescue walking on water and calmed the sea and saved them.
When the multitudes were hungry Jesus fed them with five loaves and two small fish.
Jesus is a wonderful Shepherd. He wants to be your Shepherd.
II. “I Shall Not Want” NLT
“I have everything I need.” NIV - Psalm 23:1b
David is not saying that God has provided financial wealth to meet his needs. He is saying “I am completely satisfied with God’s management of my life.
We can agree with the Psalmist that only the Lord can meet the deepest needs of our life.
When material things of this world become your master you are in a continual state of dissatisfaction. The more you get the more you want. It’s a fallacy to believe that if a man or woman is wealthy and prospering it is a significant mark of the blessing of God upon their lives.