Introduction: We are probably all familiar with Psalm 23. The calming effect and comfort that it brings is unmatched by possibly, any other passage of scripture.
The image of a shepherd is of an individual who is loving, caring, tender and mindful. Maybe for someone like me, it’s a vision of calmness, tranquility and assurance.
Question: But what happens if the shepherd is gone? This is exactly what happened to the disciples when Jesus was betrayed, crucified and buried!
Matthew 26 – The Plot to Kill Jesus; The woman who anoints Jesus with precious oil; Judas agrees to betray; Jesus celebrates Passover.
Transition: ‘When we pledge allegiance to Jesus, we pretty much mean it….if we mean it!’
Question: What wants to set in? Take Root?
- Fear / Denial– Luke 22:54-62 – Peter
- Disappointment – Road to Emmaus
Luke 24:13-35 – Where have you been? Have you not heard? ‘But we were hoping…’
- Regression – John 21:1-3 – Peter – Goes back to old profession.
Transition: So, what do we do when we feel our hopes / dreams are shattered so we scatter?
- Know / Believe that He will always be near!
John 21:1 ‘After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself:
- Sea of Tiberias – Tiberias, city of the Sea of Galilee – Mark 4:35-41 – Jesus calms the sea.
Hebrews 13:5-6 – ‘Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you1.” 6 So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me1?” (NKJ)
- Know that He is Our Provider
- Remember, the caught nothing when they first went back on their own.
- Re-instate / Re-invest Confidence
John 21:7, ‘Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it) and plunged into the sea.’ (NKJ)
- Re-Kindle & Build Love / Affection for Him
Revelation 2:1-4 – Church of Ephesus – ‘To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,`These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 “and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.’ (NKJ)
- Know / Remember Things in Future Will be Difficult
Conclusion: Scattering is natural when the Shepherd seems absent but remember, ‘He’s as close as the mention of His name’ and that He is in control and cares