If you have been following this series you know that I am working my way through some of the names of Jesus found in scripture. These meditations are not meant as another version of what we are taught to believe about each name. Instead they are an attempt to unravel the hidden meanings that we carry deep in our subconscious mind, bringing them forward so that we might examine how we feel about Jesus’ names one at a time.
The Good Shepherd
One method I like to use when I am considering a painting is simply making a list of the first 5 words that I associate with the painting or in this case the specific name of Jesus. I simply journal a list of words that first come to mind when I think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
Jesus the Good Shepherd:
Then I go back and fill in a sentence of what I think or feel about that word in relation to Jesus.
Jesus the Good Shepherd:
- Protects: me from harm, from evil
- Guides: directs my steps towards a path to God
- Supplies: my needs with abundance
- Includes: me in the group or family
- Watches over: me so that I might relax, rest, sleep.
I wonder if this was how David wrote his marvelous Psalm. (Notice how David is telling us about the Good Shepherd but then half way through he begins to speak directly to the Good Shepherd. I never noticed that before:)
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside still waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in baths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Wow! This picture of Jesus is a kind of Superhero Shepherd!!
Then I begin to wonder if somehow this impression of him was keeping him at arm’s length.
Going back to the image, I think, what is usually the focal point of these kinds of representations? And Instantly I realize that it is the iconic idea of him holding the most vulnerable lamb safe in his arms.
Imagine with me…
Close your eyes and begin to mentally paint a personal picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Take your time…
What do you see?
How does the scene make you feel?
Then try to imagine him holding you, like a little lamb, in his arms?
Relax into his embrace, Feel his warmth…his strength…his love for you.
In Jesus’ Name