“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. (NLT)
It has been said that we humans have two basic needs: for security and for significance. When Jesus says he is the good shepherd, he offers both. Sheep are sometimes foolish and timid. Jesus offers security. Sheep are also valuable. Jesus offers significance.
Jesus doesn’t just hang around on the margins of our life, wondering if there is anything better to do than mind sheep. He cares for us. He is alert to dangers to our welfare and seeks to protect us. He isn’t the good shepherd because it is his job for which he gets paid. He is the good shepherd because he personifies God who made us and loves us.
He is not a sheep dog nipping at our heels, harassing us into doing good. He leads by example. He knows us by name. We are not a job lot. He doesn’t love humankind as a category but loves each of us as a unique individual.
Some of us may protest at being likened to sheep. But we have to admit, the description fits. Not much point being offended at being called sheep. Better by far to get a good shepherd to care for us and guide us. And there is only one good shepherd.
- Liked this? Get LifeWords Devotions emails, 5 days a week! Subscribe here or below ⬇️