The Bible presents the shepherding ministry of the Lord Jesus from three different perspectives.
- As the Good Shepherd, He died for the sheep (John 10:11, 15, 17-18);
- As the Great Shepherd, He lives for the sheep to perfect them (Heb. 13:20);
- and as the Chief Shepherd, He will return to gather His sheep and take them to Heaven (I Peter 5:1-4). These three titles tell about His ministry to us in the past, present and future. Psalm. 22 describes the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep; Psalm. 23 describes the Great Shepherd’s provision to us “all the days of our lives.” Psalm. 24 is a victory Psalm that announce the arrival of the King, the Chief Shepherd, who will defeat His enemies and reward His people.
- The Good Shepherd ( John 10; Psalm. 22) He willingly gave His life for the sheep.
- The Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20-21; Psalm. 23) One of Jesus’ present day ministries is one who perfects His people. He is ministering as our great High Priest (Heb. 4:14-16; 8:1-2) He is our Advocate (I John 2:1-2) The phrase “make you perfect” in Heb. 13:21 is a translation of the Greek word Katartidzo, an unfamiliar word today, but one familiar to the Greek speaking people of the early church. To the soldier it meant “to equip an army for battle,” and to the sailors, “to outfit a ship for a voyage.” The Great Shepherd wants us to be complete in Himself. He wants to equip us for battle. He uses the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17) The purpose of this perfecting ministry is so that we can be better service to Him. He want to work in us so He can work through us to accomplish His will on the earth. Psalm.23:6 impresses on us the fact that the Great Shepherd will take care of us. Jesus has promised to take our burdens and our cares. He is “My Shepherd.” We must stay close to Him and He will stay close to us. We must obey Him. he cares for us.
- The Chief Shepherd (I Pet. 5:4; Psalm. 24) One day he will return and gather His sheep and take them to Heaven. (John 14:1-3; I Thessalonians. 4:13-18)