Humans—wearied and scattered by sin—are like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36). Jesus, whose birth was first announced to “shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks” (Luke 2:8) is the Shepherd Par Excellence. Psalm 22-24 depicts why this is so.
Psalm 22 portrays Jesus as the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep (John 10:11). He is the valuable, virtuous Shepherd because of His valor in the face of the abuse of Satan’s minions and the anguish of God’s righteous wrath.
Psalm 23 illuminates Jesus as the Great Shepherd who makes His sheep “complete in every good work to do His will” (Hebrews 13:20-21). He is the exceedingly great Shepherd because He has provided for His sheep every possible spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). Because of His greatness, every one of His sheep can confidently proclaim, “I shall not want.”
Psalm 24 describes Jesus as the Chief Shepherd whose authority exceeds all others (1 Peter 5:4). He is the King of glory—strong, mighty, and victorious in battle—who is seated at God’s “right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21). He has had all things put under His feet and been given to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23).
Jesus is the Shepherd par excellence!