Our Great Shepherd gives us what we need

    Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. —Hebrews 13:20-21 ESV

John Piper:


The God of peace does two things for us through our Great Shepherd.

First, he equips us with everything good that we may do his will. That does not mean that you have everything you need to be rich and famous and healthy and beautiful. It means you have everything you need to do his will. If he calls you to do a thing, he will give you what you need to do it. Our Shepherd does not promise to make us rich in this world. He promises to give us what we need to do his will.

That’s why Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). You will have everything you need to do God’s will for you. Including everything you need to die well for his glory (John 21:19).

jesus-shepherdAnd, second, it says in verse 21 that through our Great Shepherd, God is “working in us that which is pleasing in his sight.” Our Great Shepherd doesn’t just give us the green pastures and quiet waters that we need. He gives us the inner strength that we need. This is how he keeps us from making shipwreck of our faith. When he paid with his blood for the eternal covenant, here is the promise from that covenant that he bought for all of his sheep: “I will make with them an everlasting covenant [there’s the eternal covenant], that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jeremiah 32:40).  Our Great Shepherd works in us what his pleasing in his sight. That is, he works faith in us, and he will not let us become unbelievers. That’s what it means to have a Great Shepherd. So what does it mean to have Jesus as our great Shepherd? It means that he provides everything we need to do his will, and he works in us the faith to persevere in this to the end.