And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. ~1 Peter 5:4
There were many great impressions that the Lord Jesus Christ left on the mind of the Apostle Peter. There were the impressions of Christ’s suffering, shed blood, and sacrifice. There was the impression of how Christians are to light up the world with the gospel message. There was also the impression of the Lord Jesus Christ as a Shepherd. In 1 Peter, Peter makes reference in one place to the Lord Jesus as the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. In our Scripture this morning, he refers to the Lord Jesus as the Chief Shepherd. Peter is encouraging both the pastors and members of local churches of how Jesus is preeminent in the church as the One Who cares for and loves our souls the most. Let us see this morning the encouragement of knowing the Lord Jesus as our Chief Shepherd!
We see the Shepherd’s CHARACTER.
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear...” The Shepherd is the One with ultimate responsibility for the feeding and leadership of our spiritual lives. He is constantly vigilant and looking out for the welfare of the sheep. He has the same daily rigorous routine of leading the sheep to green pastures and helping them to drink from still waters. He watches with a vigilant eye for the safety of the sheep from predators. A good shepherd brings the sheep together and does not scatter them. He guards them with his rod and his staff. The shepherd knows his sheep, and his sheep know their shepherd. As our Chief Shepherd, Jesus can be trusted, and will never fail His sheep.
We see the Shepherd’s CARE.
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you... But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” Our Chief Shepherd carries every burden we give to Him. We are encouraged to cast all of our care upon Him. He gives us special grace when we are hurt, wounded, weakened, and suffering. He is concerned for our restoration and our replenishment. He comes alongside of us when we need Him the most. He is the God of all grace. Have faith in the Shepherd of our soul!
We see the Shepherd’s CONTROL.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” The happiest sheep are those who stay close to the shepherd. Our Chief Shepherd requires His sheep to humble themselves before Him. Sheep that are stubborn and headstrong get themselves into bad trouble. Sheep that voluntarily humble themselves and follow the Shepherd are safe, strong, and successful. These humble sheep are the ones that are led into greener and fairer pastures for their feeding. Let us remember that our role to our Shepherd is to humble ourselves always before Him.
We see the Shepherd’s COMPENSATION.
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” When Peter wrote 1 Pet. 5:1-5, he was encouraging the pastors of local churches. These men felt the weight of their responsibility, and deep down inside wished that they had a Pastor for their concerns. Peter was reminding them that they did: the Lord Jesus was the Chief Shepherd for them! He reminds pastors of the special reward for being faithful as preachers, teachers, and spiritual leaders to the flock. Pastoring work can be very difficult and strenuous, but the Lord Jesus acknowledges and compensates faithfulness.
Be encouraged today of our Lord Jesus and His role as the Cief Shepherd. Let Him restore your soul this morning so that you can say, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Have a contented God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 18-20