“May the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, … make you complete” (Hebrews 13:20, 21, NKJV).
The author of the book of Hebrews focuses on Christ with a macro lens. Everything about Christ is “great.” He sees Him as the “great High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14, NKJV). and the “great Shepherd of the sheep” (Hebrews 13:20, NKJV). The salvation Christ gives is called “great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3, NKJV). The reward Jesus offers is a “great reward” (Hebrews 10:35, NKJV).
As we have already seen, Jesus is beautifully described as the Chief Shepherd (see 1 Peter 5:4), the Gentle Shepherd (see Isaiah 40:11), and the Good Shepherd (see John 10:11). To the apostle Paul, Jesus is all these and more. He is the Great Shepherd. The adjective, great, as applied to Christ, describes the superiority of His role as shepherd.
The metaphor of the Great Shepherd is reminiscent of the “Shepherd Psalm.” Psalm 23 is a testimony in the present tense of the infinite sufficiency of our Great Shepherd. In our pilgrimage, the Great Shepherd leads us gently; He leads us beside the still waters of His love. He gives us perfect rest. When we are threatened by danger, He is our strong protector, and when we are in the shadow of death, He is present to dispel our fears. As the Great Shepherd, He guarantees the safety of His trusting flock. Because He is a faithful shepherd, we can rest in His assurance. Because He is an able shepherd, we can be at peace. Because He is a resourceful shepherd, he will supply all our needs according to His riches. There is no shepherd like Jesus our Great Shepherd. “How kind, how tender, our Great Shepherd is! With intense interest He looks down from His exalted throne upon the sheep of His pasture, and gives them grace and strength.”–In Heavenly Places, p. 322.
My Prayer Today: Lord, without You, I cannot live, and without You, I dare not die. Amen.