“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11.
“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
I called the leaders of My people their “shepherds,” and likened My people to My flock of sheep. I called David from being a shepherd in the fields of Bethlehem to shepherd My people as their king. Jacob too was a shepherd, and his son Joseph was going to check on his brothers and his father’s flock when they sold him into slavery down to Egypt. But there I took him out of slavery and prison and made him the shepherd of Egypt and all the middle east through a severe famine. And he became a shepherd over the house of Israel as well by moving Jacob and all his descendants to Egypt. Jacob was the first one to liken Me to a shepherd that guided and watched over him. But David was the first one to give Me the name “the LORD my Shepherd,” and he wrote the song all know as Psalm 23 describing what a good Shepherd does for his sheep.
When I was disappointed in the leaders of My people, I told My prophet Ezekiel to prophesy against the shepherds and these are the words I told him to say, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves! Should not the shepherds pasture the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.” Ezekiel 34:2-6.
From this you see the qualities of a good shepherd, what I am looking for in the one to lead My people: the good shepherd pastures and feeds the sheep, the good shepherd does not mistreat and abuse the sheep and use his position for his own advantage to the detriment of the sheep, the good shepherd strengthens the weak and the sickly, he carries the lambs in his bosom and leads the ewes with care, Isaiah 40:11, the good shepherd heals the diseased ones, binds up the broken, seeks out the lost and gathers back the scattered, does not run away when the wolve comes but fights to protect the sheep, even to his own death. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.
And when none of the leaders were doing that, behold! I said that I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. Ezekiel 30:11-12.
And how do I do this? With My arm of flesh. I foretold that I would set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he would feed them; he would feed them himself and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, would be their God, and My servant David prince among them. Ezekiel 34:23-24. Do you know of whom I am speaking? David had long departed from this world at the time of My prophet Ezekiel. It was the same message that I told My precious Mary many years later, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Luke 1:30-33.
Jesus, the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star, was to be the shepherd of My people, fulfilling Psalm 23 and My words to Ezekiel. And there is one more witness in My Word. Years earlier, before I sent My messenger to Mary, I had sent the Word through My prophet Micah, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, little among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the Name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. This One will be our peace.” Micah 5:2-5. He will arise and shepherd His flock in My Name and He shall be your peace. I was in Christ reconciling the world to Myself, I put all your sins on Him and He made peace through the blood of His Cross. He laid down His life for the sheep. But, He was not just your good shepherd while He was among you as one like yourselves, I have so designated Him forever, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21. He is the one equipping you and leading you today as your good shepherd by the Spirit He has poured upon you from My throne. And so He will be through eternity.
When I showed John the things to come and he saw the heavenly Kingdom, as he gazed upon the saints clothed in white who had washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, it was explained to him that “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16-17. Even in the day of eternity you have a good Shepherd, the very One who laid down His life for His sheep so that He could give you eternal life. John 10:27-30.
And as you know we are continuing to explore the unfathomable riches I have put in Christ Jesus, God with you, and today is the fifth of the great “I AM” revelations of Jesus. “I AM the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11. He will never leave you or forsake you for He has a command from Me, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:37-40. And that is the parable My Son told of the lost sheep, Luke 15:3-7, once you have come to Him and joined yourself with Him, I seal you in Him, Ephesians 1:13, and He is your good Shepherd forever. And He is to lose no one I have given Him. I sent Him to seek out and save the lost. Luke 19:10.
Now, every one of His “I AM” revelations has a promise, and usually not just one but multiple promises that stem out of the revelation. Jesus repeated the “I AM the good Shepherd” to times and then defined it further. First He stated, “I AM the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11. Jesus promises to lay down His life for the sheep. No one takes it from Him, He has chosen to do this for you so that you can live forever in the heavenly Kingdom. He gave His eternal life in the flesh for the eternal life you murdered and lost in Adam. He saved you from destruction—from the second death of separation from Me in hell. And He did this for all, not just the sheep of the house of Israel. He gave His life as a ransom for ALL. 1 Timothy 2:6. He explained to the Jewish people of His day, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.” John 10:16. He spoke peace to those far and those near, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, creating one new man by the blood of the cross. Ephesians 3:11-22. You see, He is gathering all the scattered sheep, even those who never knew they even had a shepherd.
Show My people the Shepherd, they so badly need Him to lead them out of their dark valley of the shadow of death into the sunlit meadows filled with the fragrance of My love. They are like sheep gone astray, each following his own way, but I laid upon Jesus the guilt of you all. Isaiah 53:6. He kept His promise and laid down His life for the sheep.
And He repeated this revelation added a more in depth view, He said, “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15. He promises you will know Him as He knows you. When you love Me, you are known by Me. Remember when Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Luke 10:21-22. No one knows Jesus like I do, for He is the innermost expression of who I AM, He is My Word, begotten by My Spirit from the deepest thoughts within Me manifested in the Person of Jesus. So it is He that reveals to you who I am. And He knows who is open to this revelation for He knows well what is in man. John 2:24-25 (“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”).
And then Jesus gives a deeper revelation of what it means to have Him as your good Shepherd, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30. And this is the very essence, the very heart of the Shepherd. He promises that you will hear His voice, that you will follow Him, and that He will give you eternal life and you will NEVER perish. Once you put yourself in His hand, no one can snatch you out, for in Him you are Mine and no one can snatch away from Me. For I so loved the world, that I gave My only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For I did not send My Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:16-17. I sent you the good Shepherd, and that is a gift that I will never stop giving, for I raised Him from the dead by the blood of the eternal covenant to be your Shepherd forever. Not for just an hour, not for just a day, not for just a year, but always, ALWAYS.
And in seeing Him, you are seeing Me.
And what does your good Shepherd bring? Grace. Grace and truth come through Jesus Christ and of His fullness you have all received, grace on top of grace. I know what you need before you ask Me and My grace will give you what you need. Let your great good Shepherd and great High Priest, Jesus, lead you to My throne of grace and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16.
And that brings us to how the good Shepherd is foreshadowed in the Tabernacle of Moses. Well, once you have gone through Jesus as the Door from the outer court to the inner court to the Holy of Holies your good Shepherd has taken over leading you to Me, and He leads you where? Just read Psalm 23: “And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:6. He has led you right into the Holy of Holies and the good news it is not just once a year but forever, twenty-four/seven. I am available anytime; it has pleased Me to give the little flock of My Son the Kingdom. He leads you out of your sins and the dark valley of the shadow of death into green pastures, healing waters, a table of plenty, and right into My house forever. He indeed is a good Shepherd.
“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the delightful beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.” Psalm 27:4-6.
I love you. There is so much more to tell you about the good Shepherd, but the Holy Spirit will reveal things to you as you enlarge your heart, and you will be learning what this revelation of Jesus means for all eternity. I would like to close with Psalm 23, that you may ponder it in your heart and know that this good Shepherd is yours forever.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside healing waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for length of days. Psalm 23.