THE HEAVENLY SHEPHERD
Heb. 13:20-21 ¶ Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
One of the most powerful pictures painted of our Lord and His care for us comes from the image David gave us in the Shepherd’s Psalm. Jesus expounded on this teaching as He taught His disciples of His role as the Good Shepherd. This was an obvious claim to deity made by Jesus. He was not only the Shepherd during His earthly ministry, He proved to be David’s Shepherd in the Old Testament. He continues today, as Paul describes in today’s verse, as the great Shepherd of the sheep who is risen from the dead and ministers for us and to us from His place at the right of the Father in heaven. His heavenly ministry is quite powerful and we catch a glimpse of the importance of His present day ministry in these closing comments in Paul’s letter to The Hebrew Christians. He said that this Heavenly Shepherd would “make you complete”. This is a powerful phrase in the original language. Check out the staggering meaning of this phrase.
make you complete
καταρτίζω – kat-ar-tid’-zo – to complete thoroughly, that is, repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust: – fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect, prepare, restore
Zodhiates- The fundamental meaning is to put a thing in its appropriate position.
This word, katartidzo, describes the heavenly ministry of our Heavenly High Priest. Today, Jesus is representing His sons and daughters before the Father in heaven. Paul says He lives forever to make intercession for us. This intercession is what makes me clean in the Father’s eyes, His blood makes me acceptable to the Father and also cleanses my conscience from the stains and shame of sin. As the word katartidzo describes, He is adjusting and repairing my life through forgiveness and acceptance, what a powerful God. Secondly, this heavenly ministry of Jesus is the ministry of baptism. As John the Baptist boldly declared, “there is One coming after me mightier than I, I baptize with water for the forgiveness of sins, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”. This is the present day ministry of Jesus. This heavenly Shepherd is the baptizer, as we look to our Heavenly Shepherd, our sins are washed away, and we are filled, again and again with the Holy Spirit.
In Hebrews 7:25 Paul declared that this Heavenly Shepherd is able to save us to the uttermost. That means totally and eternally. Today, Jesus is not dormant, waiting to return to the earth, He is constantly ministering to all that call upon His name. He is adjusting, repairing, healing, restoring, and empowering His flock. He is making you complete, after all, He can save to the uttermost.