The True Shepherd – Robert Murray M’Cheyne

*Pastor’s Note: As so many of you know, I love the preaching from some of the Great Preachers of the past. They preached with authority and power and yet still had compassion and love in their messages. This is a new preacher to me and I hope you enjoy this excerpt from his message as much as I did. God Bless!

Robert Murray M'Cheyne Self PortraitRobert Murray M’Cheyne (May 21, 1813 – March 25, 1843) was a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1835 to 1843. He was educated at the University and at the Divinity Hall of his native city, and was assistant at Larbert and Dunipace. A mission of inquiry among the Jews throughout Europe and in Palestine, and a religious revival at his church in Dundee, made him feel that he was being called to evangelistic rather than to pastoral work, but before he could carry out his plans he died of typhus fever, and though wielding remarkable influence in his lifetime, was still more powerful afterwards, through his “Memoirs and Remains,” edited by Andrew Bonar, which ran into far over a hundred English editions. Some of his hymns became well known and his Bible reading plan is still in common use.

The True Shepherd, an excerpt by Robert Murray M’Cheyne

I come now, to consider the true shepherd. Oh! It is sweet to turn from looking at the hireling to the true shepherd: “I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” etc. Christ here gives us three marks of the true shepherd.

1. The true shepherd gives His life for the sheep. Jacob was a good shepherd to Laban. You remember his care of the sheep; he says, “That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night,” etc., Genesis 31.39-40. But he did not give his life for the sheep. David was a good shepherd. You remember when a lion and a bear came and took away the sheep, that he went after it and rescued it, and slew both the lion and the bear; 1 Samuel 17.35.

But David did not give his life for the sheep; but Christ gave His life. The sentence was written against the sheep, “Thou shalt die;”? Christ came between and died for them. Observe, brethren, that it was not merely temporal death that He died; but it was equal to eternal death. It was death under iniquity? “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities,” Isaiah 53.5. It was a death under sin? “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6.23. And observe, it was freely; He did it out of free love; therefore it is always said, “He gave himself for us.” Love one another, even as Christ loved the church,” and gave Himself for it.” There is one Mediator “who gave Himself a ransom for all.”

Brethren, observe that Christ so loved the sheep that He gave his life “What are these wounds in thy hands? These are the wounds I have received in the house of My friends.” Brethren, if ever you and I get to heaven, this is what we will see, “A Lamb as it had been slain.” Are you attracted by the sight? What are you made of, that you do not see this love? O brethren, to whom will you go if not to Him? Observe what He offers? Himself. “I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep;” that is, l am willing to give Myself to you.

2. “I know my sheep, as the Father knoweth Me.” You know, brethren, how completely the Father knows His Son. He knew Him from all eternity: “Then I was by Him as one brought up with Him, I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Brethren, so Christ knows His sheep. “He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” You know, brethren, that the Father knows Him with a love of delight. So Christ knows His sheep with the same love; “Thou art all fair, My love, there is no spot in thee.” “As the lily among thorns, so is My beloved among the daughters!” “My love, My undefiled is but one, she is the only one of her mother.”

Christ delights in every one of His sheep. And you know the Father knew Christ during all the time of His sufferings on earth. So Christ knows His sheep in all their temptations. And you know the Father will know Christ to all eternity. So Christ says, “I know My sheep.” Christ knows His sheep to all eternity. “They shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” Ah, brethren, is there any shepherd like this shepherd?

3. “I Am known of Mine.” The sheep know Christ, and Christ knows the Father. Christ has a perfect acquaintance of the Father: “O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee, but I have known Thee,” so the sheep know Christ: He manifests Himself unto them. Ah, brethren, has Christ made Himself known unto you? Has He given you an understanding to know Him that is true, and are you in Him that is true?

This is the mark of all His sheep. “I Am known of Mine.” And this is one of the excellencies of Christ to His own. He lets fragrance forth when He passeth by, and we follow Him. Brethren, has He let out His fragrance to you, and do you follow Him? Are you known of Him even as He is known of the Father? Amen.

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About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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