Pastor Ed Kvaale
Psalm 23 is so well known it is easy to just repeat the familiar words without considering their meaning. Today, I want us to reflect on a beautiful portion of Scripture that we should not overlook; I want to focus on God as shepherd and Jesus, who as God, calls Himself the Good Shepherd in the Gospel of John. Jesus asks us to trust and follow Him as our shepherd. Jesus can live and dwell within us. Jesus cares dearly for each of us that are part of His fold. Not only that, but He longs for those who are not part of His fold to come home.
Because Jesus is our shepherd, we shall not suffer want, for Jesus puts our needs before His own. That is what we remember this Lenten season as we approach Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Because Jesus is my shepherd, He will lead us. Jesus knows where we’re going and helps us find the right place. A place where we do not need to move around looking for our provision, for in this Psalm we find a place where we do not need to move, for the sheep have what they need: good pasture and water, with no need to be rushed. Because Jesus is my shepherd, I will be safe with Him.
Jesus wants to protect us. His rod and staff represent protection and crowd control. Jesus protects us from evil, but we also need discipline for our own sin and wanderings and Jesus is very willing to provide that. We will not be alone or need to fear evil if we trust in Jesus as our Shepherd, for He will take us home. Because Jesus is my shepherd, we will be restored by Him and shall dwell with Him. Jesus said, “If I go and prepare a place for you; I will come again” [John 14:13].
Is Jesus your shepherd? If He is, let us be reminded today to be confident in our faith and trust in His faithfulness and steadfast love. We can know that wherever we are in life’s pilgrimage, Jesus will lead us safely to the home He has prepared for us. If not, I would ask that you trust that Jesus can and will do for you what He has for me and those of us who are following Him.