That great Shepherd of the sheep
‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ Hebrews 13:20–21
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 23:1–6
That great Shepherd of the sheep. This name is precious to his sheep and it comprehends his whole role. Their safety depends on his being their Shepherd, and their consolation on their knowing that he is so.
Let us speak of the sheep. They are a great multitude which no man can number, but their number is determinate and known to their Shepherd. When they are assembled at his right hand on the great day, not one will be missing. They are the remnant, which the sovereign wisdom and grace of God purposed from everlasting to save out of the ruin which sin had brought upon mankind. As such, they were given as a trust and as a gift by the Father to the Son. He accepted them as a charge, and rejoices in them as his portion, in whom he will be admired, in time and eternity. They are born in sin, and live for a longer or shorter space in vanity and ignorance even as others, but he who has loved them with an everlasting love, in due time draws them to himself. Till that hour comes, he watches over them by his providence, and then he makes himself known as a Shepherd—rules, leads, guides and guards them, till they arrive in glory. The proof of their relation to him lies in their effectual calling by the power of his Word and Spirit. And here we must begin if we desire to know whether we are his sheep or not. Whoever receives the gospel report, feels the need of a Shepherd, and seeks to him and him alone, is undoubtedly one, for he says, My sheep hear my voice [John 10:27].
FOR MEDITATION: [for Sunday, 6 September 1778]
The Saviour calls his people sheep,
The bull can fight, the hare can flee,
And bids them on his love rely,
The ant, in summer, food prepare;
For he alone their souls can keep,
But helpless sheep, and such are we,
And he alone their wants supply.
Depend upon the Shepherd’s care.
SERMON SERIES: HEBREWS 13:20–21, NO. 2 [1/3]