The Lord Is Our Pastor

The Lord is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

Our English word “pastor” is just another word for “shepherd.”  Therefore, whether you’ve said, “The Lord is my shepherd,” or “The Lord is my pastor,” you’ve said the same thing.

Is the Lord your pastor?  Do you go to Him with your spiritual concerns?  Do you listen to His sermons?  Are you part of His congregation?  Do you belong to His church?

The very first words in this post are, of course, taken from the beginning of the 23rd psalm.  These words are ascribed to King David of Israel who lived about a thousand years before his descendant Jesus.  David had himself been a shepherd of sheep, so the metaphor probably had particular meaning for him.  He was extolling the Lord whom he considered to be the very best kind of shepherd.

Jesus Christ came to earth to put a face on the Heavenly Shepherd that David so adored.  Therefore, we can say, “The Lord Jesus is my shepherd” and continue reading the psalm thinking in much more specific knowledge than David had available to him in his day.

The Lord Jesus is your shepherd if you depend upon Him the way a sheep depends on its shepherd.  Or we could just as accurately say, He is your pastor if you look to Him in this way.  He is your pastor if you go to Him in prayer with your spiritual concerns.  If you then wait quietly in trust to hear what He will whisper in your heart, then you are listening to His sermons.  You are part of His congregation and belong to His church if you are acknowledging Him in your all your ways and looking to Him in faith as you live your life.

If you rely instead on a human pastor then you eclipse the Lord.  You have outsourced your relationship with God.  You have delegated spiritual responsibilities to someone who cannot possibly fulfill them for you.  Jesus Christ Himself came to be the mediator between God and man – how can any other human being fill that role?

The Lord wants to be your pastor.  He wants to visit your home.  He wants to console you in difficult times.  He wants to inspire you with His messages.  Receive Him as your pastor, the shepherd and guardian of your soul.

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  Even so, Jesus has laid down His life for us.  We are His people and sheep of His pasture.  Let us follow the great Shepherd of the sheep.

He will lead you in the paths of righteousness.  He’ll make you to enjoy green pastures and quiet waters in your soul.  Even if you go through the valley of the shadow of death, He has a rod and a staff to protect you.  No wonder goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life!  Slow down…and let them catch up.

Do not be distressed and downcast like a sheep without a shepherd.  Do not attempt a spiritual life without a pastor.  Let Jesus be to you who He intended to be when Psalm 23 was first conceived in His heart and then planted in the heart of David to write.   The Lord is our shepherd.


15 Replies to “The Lord Is Our Pastor”

  1. I have a reasonable and comfortable sense that each individual ‘believer’ is probably at a different mile-marker post in that walk with Jesus, who is the door to eternal life, and the way that is traveled along that journey. When I became aware that Jesus was my Pastor; it became necessary to leave Marketplace Religion, and free myself from the ‘religious’ theological ‘legal eagles’.
    Leaving the religious, social butterfly church world was easy. I just walked out and never returned. I guess you just do it. – but- , I soon was to discover that getting the ‘church’ out of me was a bit more difficult. It took some time, but our true shepherd guided me to Himself. I could deeply sense Him direct me to ‘open Him’ because He is the door, so I did open that door – and immediately on the other side of ‘the door’ was the Holy Spirit – with Power. Good bye ‘doctors of the law’, mortal clergy, I need you no more. . . stay in your own play-pen – stay out of mine.
    I began to recognize the the ‘holy spirit’ whom the butterfly social church told me would add an extra 15 horsepower to my quest to understand and please G-d . . . .was more like a “Holy Spirit’ with a million extra horsepower, and ‘knows’ which mile-marker post we are at, and is totally capable of taking over from there.
    Yes, Jesus is our Shepherd, and His chosen Teacher is the Holy spirit.
    I truly believe that this is the foundation of the style of Repentance that our ‘Pastor Himself’ was referring to when He spoke “Repent the Kingdom of God is at Hand”.

    Have a great day Mike

    1. Mike, thanks for your reply – that is my desire ‘to grow stronger and stronger with the Lord’, as it should be for all of us ‘ecclesia members’)
      I don’t really know where to post this next thought (it’s actually from a much deeper part of me than where thoughts come from); it should probably be in an e-mail to you instead of a reply but since I don’t have that email address, I’ll post it here for now ( you have my permission to put this where you feel it needs to be. (because it’s kind of long)

      It is based on something quite similar to what you said concerning how the ‘organized church’ eclipses that place of Jesus being our Pastor in our lives. I mentioned that it was not to difficult for me to ‘get out of church’ but I found it was much tougher to ‘face the music’ of getting the church out of me. (I still have to work on that aspect at times) I also mentioned that I felt the need to escape those theological ‘legal eagle’ doctor of the law impulses (maybe filters would be a better word) that I have found ‘attached’ somehow adhering to the magnetic poles of my brain. . . . OK here we go.

      The way that earthly lawyers set up – is to use Law Text Books of previous basics to get a judge to perceive their angle of approach to present their scoops and views as a defense. The religious defense of the Pharisees, Doctors of the Law (nothing but religious lawyers) got a serious thumbs down from Jesus. They all attempt to point at how they would prefer the judge view their case also. They reflect into other similar cases by law book, case number, paragraph and even particular sentences. Clients of theirs put their intimate ‘trust’ in those legal eagles to ‘get them out of a serious jam’ with a situation that is beyond their own control.

      Religious ‘legal eagles’ (don’t they always seem to find a way to be flying around where the carcass is”) approach sin and getting into heaven the exact same way; Book, Chapter, scripture verse – and it is also interesting that ‘M O N E Y’ (that old love of money thing) always seems to pop up in some sort of ‘distinguishable’ way? (sometime it’s kind of ‘sly’ but never the less; distinguishable.

      My inward parts also can’t help but recognize that there was no bible in existence at the time Jesus physically left planet earth and rose up in the clouds physically. The Law, and the Prophets seemed to be something that Jesus said didn’t really need to be scoured into anymore; because He simplified them to nothing more than Love (trust and respect) the Lord you god with all your heart soul and strength’ Love your neighbor as yourself (it’s interesting that it says ‘neighbor’ not neighborS) and you could add to that, Love (maybe it means give your enemies time for my grace [amnesty, time to repent?]

      The point: Jesus sent out the disciples at that time without a written book. John Wycliffe (1300’s) was the one who made the bible available to common and ordinary men.(prior to that only ‘legal eagles’ had access to it) and it was ‘hand written’, pricey, and common and ordinary men usually didn’t have the kind of money it would take to purchase one; and or much of an ability to even read, or at least read well. . . It wasn’t untill the KJV (1600’s) that common and ordinary men really had an opportunity to stand a chance of purchasing, and attempting to read it. . . point – The disiples and those who believed (respected and trusted) them about trusting in Jesus and Jesus’ purpose of baptizing with the Holy Spirit – with Power) probably were doing what Jesus asked them to do . . . and they accomplished that without using a bible.

      Next point of consideration from deep within – Today there are over 41 Thousand different ways Jesus and His gospel have been denominated – church denominations –
      It seems to me that those are caused by ‘doctrines’ . . . and a doctrine seems to me to be nothing more than ‘religious legal eagle’ pointing to books, chapters, scripture verse. and some manner of ‘offering plate’, or donation system to cover accomplishing their denominational duties.

      We know that Jesus is our Pastor, we know he baptizes with the Holy Ghost – and Fire (Power?) We know that Jesus intended for us to understand that the Holy Spirit was to be our Guide and Teacher.

      With all that said I am not trying to say that the bible does not have a value. It does have a value. – but from the depth of my spiritual insides, I have come to an understanding with G-d, with Yashua (Jesus) that the written word was never designed to Trump, or be Preferred over the enlightenment we are to receive from the Holy Spirit.

      Why? . . . Because as ‘you’ said; it is easy for ‘organized religion’ to eclipse’ Jesus’ direction toward us, . . . so also it seems to me that it easy for the ‘written word’ to also eclipse Our Shepherd’s leadership and intent, and purpose. As I pointed out about myself: I still fight the ‘legal eagle’ tendency to want to point to book, a chapter, and a a verse that is ‘written’ to back myself up. I don’t really feel the the ‘style’ of spiritual Repentance Jesus spoke of will be fully accomplished in Me until I can overcome that habit. For me anyhow, It seems that Jesus own words (The ones in the Red Letters) and the Story of Jesus’ Himself should be holy enough and sufficient to accomplish what is asked by Him. ( the words of Jesus are what the Holy Spirit calls to our remembrance anyhow) – The Holy Spirit might be able to get that done without us trying to memorize them first out of a New Testament, anyhow. – I don’t think that Ethiopian Eunuch had a N/T after Phillip was taken away, and of the Picture. I’m still working on that understanding.

      I guess I’m not trying to get people into heaven, but just approved by G-d so that His Holy Spirit can get them where they need to be.

      Thank you for allowing this kind of reply. Again, if this is not the appropriate place to reply, please move it to where it needs to be – private or otherwise.

      Mike, have a great Day

  2. Randy,

    Although the Pharisees could be indeed be “lawyerly,” majoring on minors (Matthew 23:23-24), their fundamental problem was that they practiced their righteousness before men instead of God (Matthew 6:1-5, 16-18; 23:5), preaching what they did not practice (Matthew 23:3).

    Devotion to Scripture was not their downfall; rather, it was their hypocritical devotion to it that did them in. For example, they hoped in Scripture but did not believe it (John 5:45-47). For this reason, they were unable to recognize that the Scriptures were bearing witness to the Jesus who was in their midst. He was reading the Scriptures in a different way than they were.

    It is true that the New Testament was not assembled until the end of the New Testament age. However, the apostles did rely very heavily on what we call the Old Testament. In fact, the essence of their testimony about Jesus was that He was the fulfillment of its true and lasting meaning.

    As a result, we should not be turning away from the Old Testament but rather using the New Testament to understand it better. For this very reason, we read Psalm 23 as “The Lord Jesus is my pastor.”

    On my other blogs, I have written many posts which show how Jesus is revealed in the Old Testament. For example, go to Leadership in the Kingdom of God and look for Key Post in the menu at the top. When you get to that pages you will see a heading titled “The Centrality of Christ.” You can also go to the category in the right-hand column of any post or page on that blog labeled “Types and Shadows.” You will find also many Old Testament reference to Christ there. There are many other posts which will show Christ to you in the Old Testament but these will get you started.

  3. Mike, thanks for your reply,

    I don’t have any difficulty or hardness of thought following what you are saying. I have argued with ‘myself’ often over those very same seemingly fundamental nuts and bolts. What makes me argue with ‘myself’ over my ‘deeper’ heart-felt reflections is this picture the Sanhedrin had of Peter and John.

    Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that. . . “they were unlearned and ignorant men”. . . , they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

    I also do know that Paul was a Pharisee and that title did now come without being well ‘learned’. If I set Paul up on the ‘bookshelf’ for a bit, and just examine only the Gospels for a I seem to find Jesus saying “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” . . . I guess what this reminds me of is what I experienced in the Social Church setting, where the clergy just cracked opened (Jesus) the door only enough to let me get that little 15 extra horsepower ‘fragrance’ whiff of the holy spirit. Then they kind of ‘smoothly inferred’ that that 15 extra horsepower whiff would be all I needed to understand their ‘teachings’ and ‘doctrine’. They themselves never really opened the ‘Door’ wide enough to enter in ‘all the way’ themselves, and they sure weren’t going to let me go ‘all the way’ in by myself. My point – if you take Paul out of the picture long enough to look at the original disciples themselves – Peter and John would seem to be a little ‘weightier’ among them. . . and . . .the Sanhedrin thought they were ‘unlearned, and ignorant’ . Even Paul (at that time) must have thought they were also unlearned and ignorant, or he wouldn’t have held the coats of those who were ‘religiously licensed’ to stone blasphemers to death when they stoned Stephen. I know that Paul was the one who said ‘study to show yourselves ‘approved’ a workman unto G-d. -but- I don’t see where Jesus Himself, or any of the other disciples ever really said that.

    Why am I so excessively concerned with how critical these ‘seemingly’ inconsequential details could unfold? Because I do not want to let Jesus, or Our Father down by misreporting the Truth; The Gospel . . . I would rather hold a knife to my own throat than to err. You and I have openly observed lots and lots of obvious errs in many who claimed to have correctly reported the gospel of Jesus. I just don’t want to be ‘guilty’ of a ‘fuzzy, half baked stupid error’ either.

    G-d’s not done with me yet . . . all I want is to be able to stand eye ball to eyeball with him someday and have enough ‘holy integrity’ to feel I have not been a total embarrassment to Him.

    Mike, Have a great Day

  4. Randy,

    Paul may have received Pharisaical training (which had, of course, both positive and negative aspects) that Peter and John did not, yet he was no more devoted to the Scriptures than they were.

    As for Peter, just take a look at the first ten verses of the second chapter of his first letter. It is filled with references to Scripture.

    As for John, the vocabulary of the book of Revelation is, practically speaking, taken entirely from the writings of Moses and the Prophets.

    You have a good heart and I trust you’ll grow in faithfulness to Jesus all your days. However, don’t let some people’s misuse of Scripture cause you to neglect it. Without Scripture, we would have no incorruptible witness to our Lord in this age. We are corruptible, but what is written stands eternal.

    The Bible without the presence of the Holy Spirit is dry, lifeless, and misleading. But the Holy Spirit without the Bible is a voice that is uncertain to us because there is no means to confirm its truth.

    We have something Eve did not. Much blood was shed to get it to us. It is not all of our inheritance by any means, but it is an essential part of that inheritance – and without it, we risk losing the rest.

  5. Hi Mike
    I appreciate you, and the time you take, and your courtesy to respond. Let me kind of shift gears here.
    I kind of perceive that ‘wisdom’ is to a pure heart, pretty much the same thing that ‘common sense’ is to a clean minded brain.
    I really do understand your statement about that attraction we like to have in order to confirm truth.
    I like you, and when I say Have a Great Day Mike, I really mean it.
    The Holy Spirit seems to be calling me to have my sit-down time with the Boss. (polite humor -but still serious)
    And Mike, Have a Great Day – Talk with you down the road a piece.


  6. Hi
    I have heard the Senior pastor of a church refer to Jesus as our ‘ lead pastor ‘…..Me thinks that such is unbiblical !

  7. I appreciate the attitude I think he is wanting to convey – that he is subordinating himself to Christ. Nevertheless, he is still setting himself up as an authority over the people and this is just what Jesus told His ministers not to do (Matt 20:24-28; 23:8-12 and elsewhere).

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