25th April 2021
ALL YOU NEED IS YOUR SHEPHERD
Acts 4:8-12, Psalms118,
1 John 3:1-2,
John 10:11-18 Today is the fourth Sunday of Easter. This Sunday is traditionally celebrated as Good Shepherd Sunday. It’s a day when we lift up that particular image of Jesus; the caring shepherd. Today we acknowledge God as the universal shepherd of humanity and ourselves as the sheep of his flock.
Let’s take a moment and reflect on the two major functions of a shepherd 1. A Shepherd Guides - In the Gospel, we have heard Jesus say; “There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd” John 10:16. Jesus the Good shepherd is relentlessly guiding all into his sheepfold – into his Kingdom/salvation – even those who have gone astray. His plan is that of universal salvation; the salvation of each and every soul.
- The function of a shepherd as a guide is brought out so clearly in Psalms 23:2-3; “Near restful waters, he leads me; he revives my soul. He guides me along the right path, for the sake of his name.”
- Jesus, our Good Shepherd can guide us to green grass and restful waters. But he can also guide us through the valley of the shadow of death.
- Our good shepherd can sometimes allow us time in the valley
- But why would a good shepherd who would lay down his life for his sheep lead us into a valley filled with danger and death threats? There's only one possible answer: "To get to some better place!"
- When you're walking through some unfamiliar valley, remember this: Your Shepherd has appointed even this hard time as one of His paths of righteousness. He is leading you through this valley for reasons that probably won't be apparent. But rest assured, He is taking you to the high country, where the sun is warm and the grass is in plenty.
- Every valley is a pathway to something better. Psalm 84:11 says, "No good does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly."
- The Good Shepherd always guides his flock into well-being and abundance. 2. A Shepherd Protects - The Gospel has narrated as follows; “The hired man is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away….I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me….And I am willing to die for them” John 10:12-15.
- When we are surrounded by our foes and when we walk through the valley of darkness, our Good Shepherd, Jesus, is always near to keep us safe from every danger:“Though I should walk in the valley of the shadow of death, no evil would I fear, for you are with me. Your crook and your staff protect met.” Psalms 23:4.
- Our God is always near and close to us at all times. When we are faced with whatever kind of threats or challenges may we remember that the good shepherd; "He has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," Hebrews 13:5b-6. Stay close to God; trust in His protection and guidance. Always say; “The Lord is my shepherd," Psalms 23:1.
When you find yourself weak, in the dark, uncertain of the future, when your soul is downcast, look up. Fix your eyes on Jesus, your Good Shepherd. Stick close to Him. Trust that He knows the way through this valley and will see you safely through. Believe that He has good reasons for taking you through this route, even though it is hard and unfamiliar. And hold on to the truth that there is something better waiting on the other side of this valley.
All you need is your Shepherd· Jesus is a Good Shepherd who walks with his people, feels what they feel, and cares about their every joy and sorrow.