Too often people focus on when Jesus will appear. But whenever Jesus talked about that glorious Day, he zeroed in on why it matters now. For example, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne … as a shepherd” (Matthew 25:31-32). What stands out most vividly is that the Great King is also the Good Shepherd.

The Shepherd-King’s power over his sheep comes from intimately knowing each one by name and from an immeasurable love that impels him to lay down his life wholly for them, even to the point of death (John 10:3-4, 14). The power of the Shepherd-King is fueled by sacrificial love—a stark contrast to an emperor who arbitrarily wields his authority just because he can.

The Lord has always identified himself as a shepherd (Psalm 23:1). He personally tends his flock, going after the lost ones who wander away, gathering the lambs in his arms, carrying them close to his heart, binding up the injured and healing the sick, and gently leading them to green pastures with plentiful food, rest, and refreshment (Isaiah 40:11).

Notice that the Shepherd-King is also present in the lives of the hungry and thirsty, the immigrant, the poor, the sick, and the incarcerated. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36). 

Apparently, the Shepherd-King is unavoidable at every turn in those crying out to be shepherded. And yet, is he not with you as you carry out his ministry? Why “do to Jesus with Jesus”? Why does he need YOU?

You carry out his ministry not because Jesus has left the scene, but precisely because Jesus is fully involved IN the scene. Just remember: your good works not your good works. It is the good work of the Shepherd-King manifesting his reign through you.

PRAY: “Lord Jesus, I will search for you in the lives of the people around me today. I know that I will find you in the faces of those I will likely think, ‘Lord, when did I see you?’ Surely, your goodness and merciful presence follows me everywhere I go. For you, O Lord, are my Shepherd-King. In your name I pray, Amen.”