When asked which part of the Bible I like most I would definitely say Psalm 23. I grew up on a farm in the Ficksburg district with the lovely name of Tempelhof where my dad farmed with about 300 sheep. They were all merino and they were all white – to me they all looked the same. But it was so wonderful that my dad knew them all and could even say which one was which child etc.
Verse 1 of Psalm 23 says: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. Yes, He knows all about me!
In the Bible the shepherd takes the sheep out to the fields every morning where he walks ahead and calls them – and they follow. Jesus himself, according to John 10 verses 2 and 3 said, But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
But it is very important that you know Him personally – and that is possible!
Once at a special concert two men were asked to perform a musical recital of Psalm 23. The one was a young man who played a masterpiece and the whole assembly applauded him with a standing ovation. Then an elderly man recited the psalm and when he finished there was no applause, but instead lots of tears. So somebody in the assembly asked: What was the difference? The old man answered, The artist knows the psalm, and I know the shepherd!
In John 10:7, So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that I myself am the door for the sheep, and in verse 9: I am the door. Anyone who enters in through Me will be saved… he will come in and he will go out and will find pasture.
As we near Christmas again and our hearts are filled with the joy of giving and receiving and partying, we must remember that more than 2 000 years ago Jesus came to this earth to die on the cross for our sins, that we may be free.
Let's put Christ back into Christmas and may the real meaning grip our hearts and let us experience the Lord as our shepherd. The good shepherd risks and lays down his own life for the sheep.