All Sheep Need a Shepherd - Psalm 23, John 10 - Sermon Notes
Sermon Notes for a sermon that explores the major themes of Psalm 23.
- This sermon is key to introducing the new series that will merge Psalm 23 and the words of Jesus during his ministry. This merger can be explained in one of two ways: either we are taking Psalm 23 and transplanting it ahead some 1,000 years into the New Testament, or we are backing up the ministry of Jesus to the time of David in the Old Testament. Either way, the intent is to see the continuity of the Old and New Testament, to see Christ as the fulfillment of these words and thereby make Lent a richer experience. One of the difficulties in preaching on "over-familiar" passages of Scripture is in finding ways that the passage can be heard with freshness. This merger with the ministry and words of Jesus has that potential.
- Early in the sermon two explanations should be given. First, David, as a man of God, is easily pictured as a shepherd; yet in this psalm he pictures himself as a sheep who receives care from the shepherd. Second, do some research to uncover and then portray some of the characteristics of sheep-not all so complimentary! Yet, in Scripture, we are the sheep.
- The core message at the beginning of this psalm is that all sheep need a shepherd (hence the title of this sermon). The welfare of a sheep without a shepherd is bleak at best. So much about sheep depends on the kind of shepherd they have.
- From there it is a short step into the gospel to point out how Jesus presented himself as the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep by name, cares for them, lays down his life for them, and gives them eternal life. There is no better information and assurance for sheep!
- The result is that sheep can know contentment and security. Consequently the very well-known first verse of the psalm becomes a huge statement! Knowledge about the congregation and their personal needs will provide direction on the ways in which this gift of security can be applied.