May 3
Psalm 23:1-6

A good shepherd

After Samuel had anointed David, he left and went back to Ramah, while David went back to his father’s flock of sheep in the fields.

Day and night David stayed with his sheep to make sure they were well cared for. He let his sheep graze in fields of lush grass. He led them to quiet streams where the rushing water would not frighten them. He used his rod to scare off wild animals and his staff to gently lead the sheep away from places that were unsafe.

David wrote a psalm about God. He thought about the Lord as a Shepherd looking after him, just as he was looking after his father’s sheep.

Why does Jesus call us sheep?

Have you been on a sheep farm or seen a flock of sheep grazing in a field? Perhaps you have seen a painting or photo of a shepherd leading his flock of sheep. Sheep don’t seem very bright, do they? If someone at school were to call you a sheep, you would probably feel rather upset. Why would Jesus call us sheep if He knew we’d be embarrassed to think of ourselves as sheep?

Like sheep, we need to follow a shepherd, otherwise we would end up following each other and get lost (Luke 15:4-6). Like sheep, we cannot defend ourselves (1 Peter 5:8). Like sheep, we don’t know where the dangers lie (Proverbs 3:26).

Don’t worry too much about being called a sheep—you have the best Shepherd looking after you. He loves you so much that He gave His life to save you. Besides, those who are not part of His flock are called goats (Matthew 25:32). Now that is something you don’t want to be called!

Verse for today

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way… Isaiah 53:6