Do You Know The Shepherd?

The following story was often told by gospel singer, J.D. Sumner. I am unsure of its origin, perhaps he wrote it, but it has often blessed me and I wanted to share it with you.

The banquet hall was filled. To speak for the occasion, a renowned orator had been brought in. After a wonderful meal, he mesmerized the crowd with his voice as he recited poetry and famous selections of speeches.

Near the end of the program, he asked if anyone had a favorite selection that they would like for him to recite. From the back of the room, an old man stood up and kindly asked if he would mind reciting the 23rd Psalm. The speaker said that he would be glad to do it if, when he was finished, the old man would recite it as well. The old gentleman nodded his head and sat back down.

In a beautifully trained voice that resonated throughout the great room, the speaker began, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” When he was finished, there was thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

He then looked at the old man and said, “Alright sir, it is your turn now.”

In a trembling voice that was cracked by time, the old man began to recite, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” It is said that when he was finished, there was no applause, but neither was there a dry eye in the building.

After the event, someone asked the famous speaker what he thought produced the different responses in the crowd. The speaker paused, thought for a moment and said, “I know the 23rd Psalm, but that man knows the shepherd. That makes all the difference.”

Do you know the shepherd?


9 responses to “Do You Know The Shepherd?

  1. I feel in my heart that I know the SHEPHERD because in the last four years HE has walked with me in the most trying times of my life and taught me patience and to know that HE has truly blessed me and that there is many out there that is less fortunate than me .Thank GOD for his GRACE-GOODNESS AND MERCY ! RON.

  2. I have heard this story…maybe from JD Sumner..can’t remember…
    I am humbly grateful to say I do indeed know Him…and He knows me..

  3. When I think about the 23rd Paslm and my shepherd Jesus I always think about this time in my life:

    At thirty-nine years old my wife, Ellen, had heart and kidney failure … at the brink of her death I found myself begging God to not let her die … I could not accept her situation or the possibility of her death. Three and a half years later after praying almost daily for her healing … never giving up … I found myself again faced with the possibility of her dying. Driving to work one day … racked with the agony of thoughts of a world without Ellen … I began to pray in the Spirit. I saw a picture in my mind. In this vision I saw myself standing on a mountain looking down at a valley … some how I knew it was the valley of the shadow of Ellen’s death. As I looked into the vision I saw Jesus come to my side, take my hand, and walk with me into the valley. It was a comforting picture. God was trying to tell me that he would be with me when Ellen died and that I would be ok.

    (excerpted from my booklet on pain.

  4. I’ve heard that story from J.D. before. It’s so true. There can be a vast difference between the “head knowledge” and the “heart knowledge.”

  5. hello

  6. Thank you for posting this, I ‘ve heard this some years ago and I need it for an up coming devotion I’m speaking on knowing the Shepherd, and yes I do know the Shepherd and love Him dearly. God bless.

  7. Oleen H Adcock

    I am 82 years old. I have known from the bottom of my heart for many years that I know The Shepherd and He knows me. He walked me through the valley of death of loved ones many times. Prayers for lost loved ones have been answeredly abundantly. I searched 23 year prayerfully to find a grand-daughter. The reunion was Feb. 1995. Recently I have been (because of my faith and my prayer life) reunited with a great grand daughter whom I had not been allowed to see for 15 years. Yes, I know the shepherd and no space is enough for me to share it all. The Lord IS my Shepherd.

  8. I never thought about Psalm 23 until I was run over by a speeding car while walking my dogs on 2/26/06. As I was critically injured, they helicoptered me to the hospital and I fervently prayed for a scripture – I was given Psalm 23 and met Jesus who became MY shepherd. I think about Him saving my life every day and have humbly allowed Him to re prioritize my life and ministry ever since. On 8/22/14 our first son was born and we named him Shepherd in the hopes that one day he too will become intimately involved with our Lord Jesus Christ as his Shepherd…

  9. Pingback: Saturday, May 9 – Lewinsville Presbyterian Church

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