This morning I read Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd psalm. One commentator on this Psalm points out that when we see Jesus as our shepherd, we turn to “the shepherd who knows what it’s like to be a sheep.” I think that is a helpful observation.
If you have or have ever had a pet, you learn about the pet’s personality (unless it is a goldfish. Do goldfish have personality)? You learn their likes and dislikes. You learn what excites and scares them. Yet none of us actually knows what it’s like to be a dog or a cat.
Yet with Jesus, it’s different. He is God the Son. Yet He became human. He has existed eternally yet he suffered the death. He is sufficient in Himself yet He experienced human want like thirst, hunger and tiredness. He is completely holy yet was tempted in every way.
I think realizing this gives more force to “The Lord is my shepherd.” Our Lord does not shepherd us with theoretical knowledge or what he thinks might work if He were in our shoes. He shepherds us with the experience of a sheep. He knows the frailty and weakness of the human condition. He understands the frustration of limited knowledge. Yet He promises to lead us to where we can find rest. He promises to be present with us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death for He Himself walked through this valley before. He promises to provide for us and give joy even while we face enemies. He Himself ate meals and attended feasts while his enemies plotted His death. He pursues us with goodness and mercy every day. He sought that from His Father every day rising early to pray.
The Lord is our shepherd and knows what it is like to be a sheep.
“Lord, we need your shepherding. Forgive us when we think we can handle life just find without you. Forgive us when we think we know better than you the way we should go. Lead us on paths of righteousness. Restore our souls. Walk with us through death’s valley. Prepare the table in the presence of our enemies. Please pursue us with your goodness and mercy today. Thank you Lord, our Shepherd.”