Jesus Is the Great Shepherd of the Sheep (Hebrews 13:20-21)
1. As the writer of Hebrews was concluding his letter he made a request on behalf of his fellow Christians. 2. In making his request he referred to Jesus as "that great shepherd of the sheep." 3. In our lesson we are concentrating on passages that emphasize this characteristic of our Lord -- "Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep."
I. IN HIS TEACHING JESUS OFTEN SPOKE OF SHEEP AND SHEPHERDS
A. In Matthew 9:36 He saw people who needed direction as "sheep having no shepherd." B. In Matthew 25:31-33 Jesus talked about the separation that will take place at the judgment when He returns -- He compared it to "a shepherd dividing his sheep from the goats." C. In Matthew 26:31 Jesus quoted Zechariah 13:7 to show what would happen when He was smitten (see Matthew 26:56b).
II. THE SCRIPTURES IDENTIFY JESUS AS A VERY SPECIAL SHEPHERD
A. Jesus identified Himself as "the good shepherd" (John 10:11a, 14a). 1. He explained why He is the Good Shepherd in John 10:1-2, 7-13, 15. 2. He described His relationship with His sheep in John 10:3-5, 14, 16. B. Jesus is also identified as: 1. "the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1 Peter 2:25) 2. "the chief Shepherd" (1 Peter 5:4).
III. IN THE 23RD PSALM DAVID REVEALED 12 SPECIAL BLESSINGS AVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO MAKE THE LORD THEIR SHEPHERD, INCLUDING:
A. Contentment (vs.1b) -- "I shall not want" B. Providence (vs.2a) -- "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures" C. Peace (vs.2b) -- "He leadeth me beside the still waters" D. Restoration (vs.3a) -- "He restoreth my soul" E. Direction (vs.3b) -- "He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake" F. Courage (vs.4a) -- "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" G. Companionship (vs.4b) -- "For thou art with me" H. Comfort (vs.4c) -- "Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" I. Favor (vs.5a) -- "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil" J. Abundance (vs.5b) -- "My cup runneth over" K. Assurance (vs.6a) -- "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life" L. Immortality (vs.6b) -- "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
1. Jesus certainly is "the great Shepherd." 2. As the great Shepherd He provides special blessings to His sheep. 3. Have you become one of His sheep (Matthew 18:11-14)?