The 23rd Psalm, one of the most well-known passages in the Bible, is a picture of Jesus as the Shepherd and our Lord that cares for us. This is a promise to us that God will take care of us.
What does a shepherd do? He is responsible to protect the sheep; there are lots of animals like coyotes, bears, wolves, and even dogs that want to catch a sheep for dinner. The shepherd carries a “rod” to use to scare off animals that are dangerous to a sheep. The sheep know they are safe as long as the shepherd is with them.
The shepherd’s staff is used to pull a sheep that has wandered away back to the flock (group). He sometimes will use the staff to draw a newborn sheep back to his mother; it helps him to draw a sheep to himself if he needs to examine it because sheep are shy, and it is used to guide the sheep through a gate or another path.
The 23rd Psalm says, “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Jesus as our Good Shepherd uses His rod and staff to protect us. He guards us from dangerous situations with His “rod,” and uses His “staff” to guide us to the path we should take and to bring us back gently when we wander away from the flock.
Sheep are fairly helpless so they need a shepherd. We are sometimes helpless also, and that is where our Good Shepherd will lead us to green pastures.
How do you feel Jesus shepherding you?