Our Amazing Shepherd
16 February 2020 AM – Hebrews 13:20-21 – Heb19 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The Psalmist referred to Jehovah God as his Shepherd. (Psalms 23:1) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” The Prophet Isaiah continued that analogy, (Isaiah 40:11) “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Because Jesus is God, He used the same picture to describe himself. Read text.
Here Paul called Jesus the great Shepherd, but elsewhere John called Him the good Shepherd and Peter called him the chief Shepherd.
Transition: I want us to take a look at all three descriptions of our amazing Shepherd that our hearts might be encouraged.
1. Jesus is our Good Shepherd (John 10:11) Look it up.
a. As our good Shepherd, Jesus gave His life for us.
1) Jesus said that a hireling (a person who tended the sheep as a job) would run for his life if a wolf attacked the sheep (Jn 10:12).
2) As our good Shepherd, Jesus not only gave his life for us, but He came to earth for that very purpose.
3) Jesus endured the pain of dying on a cruel Roman cross, the agony of paying for our sins and the torture of being separated from the Father during His sacrifice. In a unique way, Jesus endured eternal damnation for the entire human race. Truly, He is the Good Shepherd!
4) If you will place your trust in Him, He will become YOUR good Shepherd.
b. As our good Shepherd, Jesus knows our needs.
1) Not only did Jesus pay for your eternal damnation, He also know you intimately.
2) To a hireling, all the sheep looked alike. They were just smelly, wooly animals.
3) To the good Shepherd, every sheep is an individual with individual needs. Jesus knows you personally. He knows your needs. He sees your burdens. He understands your heartaches. He cares about you.
a) That is why David in the 23rd Psalm used personal pronouns. (Psalms 23:1-4) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Also Psalm 139:1-4)
b) Because Jesus cares, Peter could write, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
2. Jesus is our Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20) Look it up.
a. Jesus is great because He raised from the dead.
1) Though He died for us, He rose to life again. We can now sing, “I serve a risen Saviour.” Jesus is alive!
2) This also assures us that if we die, our bodies will one day resurrect to live with God forever. (1 Corinthians 15:57) “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
b. Jesus is great because He now lives to help us.
1) Our great Shepherd wants to make us perfect in every good work.
a) The word “perfect” does not mean sinless. It means complete or mature. It has to do with being fully equipped to do a job.
b) These good works have nothing to do with earning salvation. They are a result of salvation.
2) Our great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, wants to perfect or fully equip you to do good works. How does He do that?
a) God creates in every Christian the ability to do good works. (Ephesians 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
b) God uses the Bible to equip Christians to do good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” Are you seeking to learn something practical from the Bible every day?
c) God uses the local church to equip Christians. (Ephesians 4:11-12) “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” We need to hear Bible preaching regularly to feed and equip our lives for service.
d) Sometimes God even uses suffering to equip us. (1 Peter 5:10) “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” Though suffering is not enjoyable, it keeps us depending on the Lord for his grace and they helps to equip us. It also teaches us empathy for others that we can get in no other way.
3) When we are fully equipped to do good works, we then can do God’s will. Evidently, until we are fully equipped by Christ, we cannot do His will. Human efforts do not fulfil God’s will. We need the Lord’s help.
4) When we allow God to equip us to serve, we then can do what is pleasing in his sight. We should never be satisfied just to get by in the Christian life. We ought truly to desire to be wellpleasing in God’s sight.
5) We all know there is a difference between just passing a course and striving to get a top mark in the course. Christians who allow God to equip them fully to serve are the ones who are wellpleasing in His sight.
3. Jesus is our Chief Shepherd (1Peter 5:4) Look it up.
a. Our chief Shepherd is presently in heaven.
1) There are many shepherds, but only one chief Shepherd – that is Jesus Christ.
2) After Jesus resurrected from the dead, He returned to heaven. He is still there seated at the right hand of the Father. From there He is watching over us His sheep. (Romans 8:34) “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
3) Jesus cares for his sheep, in the past (as our good Shepherd), in the present (as our great Shepherd) and in the future (as our chief Shepherd).
b. One day our chief Shepherd will appear.
1) Christians in the first century were awaiting the appearing of Christ. They expected Christ to return at any moment.
a) (Philippians 4:5) “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”
b) Paul anticipated Christ’s appearing when he wrote, (1 Corinthians 15:51) “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
c) Paul looked for Christ’s appearing when he wrote, (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
2) Our chief Shepherd has not forgotten us. He will come again and take us to be with him in heaven for all eternity. He will also reward the faithful. Amen! What a Shepherd!
Conclusion: Christian, we have a good Shepherd who gave his life for us and cares for us. We have a great Shepherd who is risen to life again and who desires to equip us to live for His glory. We also have a chief Shepherd who is coming again to take us to heaven. It could be today! These facts ought to encourage our hearts.
If you do not know our Shepherd, I would like to show you how you can come to know him. Please speak to me about it.
Song: God Will Take Care of You 297