by Bob Wickizer

There Is One Shepherd
Rev. Bob Wickizer
Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18
4 Easter

The psalms contain some of the most evocative and emotional verse in the Bible. Our beloved 23rd psalm is recited at funerals and inscribed on Tee shirts. Most of us know the King James Version from memory. We should keep in mind that the psalms were written over a thousand year period and were memorized in their entirety by most faithful Jews from the time of David in 1000 BC until well after the time of Jesus. Jesus himself uttered the beginning lines of a psalm of praise from the cross. By the time of Jesus, everyone knew the psalms so well that just the first line would trigger people to say or think of the rest of the psalm. Lastly, we know that the psalms were mostly set to music and sung or chanted.

Now that we have developed a little background, let us become sheep for a moment as we follow the shepherd in the twenty third psalm.

"The Lord is my shepherd."

Who is my shepherd? If we look to the Old Testament for examples, surely it is not Jacob the one who tricked Laban in order to win the hand of Leah and Rachel! Surely it is not Moses who tended the flocks of his future father-in-law in order to earn the hand of Zipporah. Surely it is not David the lowly shepherd who became the greatest king of Israel only to fall in temptation, seduction and even murder. Just what shepherd do we follow and why?

What kind of sheep are we?

Are we like the rebellious Israelites who complained bitterly against Moses in the desert even wanting to stone him? Are we like Good Friday crowd standing at the foot of the cross yelling "crucify him" or are we like the 5,000 who sat down to be filled with five loaves and two fish? Or do we wander around in the pasture where God has put us occasionally getting into tight spots needing the firm handling of our shepherd?

"I shall not want."

Now what kind of nonsense is this? Everybody ...

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