Jehovah Raah – The Lord My Shepherd (Psalm 23: 1). It’s one of the most well-known passages of Scipture: Psalm 23- “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want….” We think of a shepherd as a guide- and this is true: The word translated “Raah” means “to pasture; to tend; to graze; to feed”. But it also means “to associate with, to be companions, to be a special friend.”
The intimacy of Christ, our shepherd, and we, the sheep, is portrayed in John 10, where Jesus says, “The sheep hear his [the shepherd’s] voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (Verses 3-5)
Later in that same chapter, in verse 27, Jesus continues, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
Other verses tell even more about Jesus our Shepherd. For example, in John 10: 10-11, Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”
Again in Matthew 18: 12-14, Jesus says: “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”
This principle is reflected in (Luke 19: 10) “For the Son of Man [Jesus] came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus our Shepherd is not only our guide and our intimate companion, whose voice we know when we choose to follow Him, but He is also the one who will go – who has gone-even to death to pursue us in our darkness and rescue us.