Jesus reveals Himself as the Good Shepherd. His compassion for the disciples and the crowds alike causes Him to nurture them as a loving shepherd cares for his flock. This story of Jesus is reminiscent of King David’s description of the LORD in Psalm 23.
The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want… All who come to Jesus on this day, whether in fellowship or in need, are recipients of His compassion and mercy upon them. With Jesus, their needs are met, and they are satisfied because of His nearness.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures… For the crowds who stay with Him late in the evening without food, Jesus makes them lie down in the green pasture to feed them.
He leads me beside the still waters… For the disciples who are in need of rest, Jesus leads them beside the still waters, by boat to a place of solitude. He sees and responds to their need for peace.
He restores my soul. He leads me on paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake… Jesus cares for the people not only physically, but through His teaching provides lasting nourishment for their souls, meeting their eternal need and restoring them in spirit by His Truth.
Though I walk in the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me… The crowds seek Jesus desperately, perhaps in a frenzy. But Jesus sees that their desperation speaks of great need, which is why He stays with them to teach them. His very Presence brings comfort and assurance and turns chaos into order and calm. By the end of His time with them in the evening, the crowd is easily directed and organized by Him before being fed.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies… Jesus prepares a banquet for the people, provision from Heaven through teaching of His Truth and a miraculous abundance of food by loaves and fishes. All who have been with Jesus leave filled to the brim, even overflowing.
I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever... Through this miraculous encounter with Jesus, those who are with Him are recipients of His love, compassion, and providence. They are left with the choice to stay with Him, abide with Him, and leave all behind in exchange for His nearness. For it is seen that every direction by His leading leads to an abundance of what is good. All that is experienced in His Presence is unending contentment and joy.
Have you allowed Jesus to be Your Shepherd? As King David experiences, and the King of Kings Jesus reveals, He, the True and Living God, is the Good Shepherd who loves His people.