“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
God, in His wisdom and grace, reveals Himself to us in ways that enhance our understanding of His nature and thus edify us. He declares Himself to be “the door,” “the way,” “the truth,” “the life,” “the living bread,” “the light,” etc. Our text describes His watch care metaphorically as “the good shepherd.” What better way to see Him than as the One watching over our souls, and over us as members of His protected flock?
As our Shepherd, He cares for us. None need ever wonder if He has our best interest in mind. Actually, He cares so much for us that He “giveth his life for the sheep.” He loves us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His life on the cruel cross of Calvary that we might be saved and be part of His flock. As our Shepherd, He cares so much for us that He feeds us in nourishing pastures and provides refreshing drink. Fulfilling the role of the Shepherd, He leads us in paths that are good for us. He protects us from danger and has promised that He will always be with us. He will not allow us to stray far from His will and will lovingly correct us.
God would have us to recognize and appreciate our relationship to our Shepherd. It is a personal relationship. He knows His sheep individually. We love Him because of the unexplainable way that He loves us. We are comforted in His care. We feel safe in His flock. We need not be afraid, for our Shepherd is always on guard. Jesus is not just our Shepherd; He is our “good shepherd.” We may not always understand the things that He allows into our lives, but we can be confident that our Shepherd is in perfect control and only does what is good. We are the sheep of His pasture.
Just as we benefit from seeing Jesus as our Shepherd, we can better understand our place by realizing we are His sheep. The wise sheep knows that his safest place is near the Shepherd. We do not want to be distant from Him; but to the contrary, we want to stay close by His side. We should follow the paths that He leads us in. There are dangers and problems for the sheep that resist the direction and diet of the Shepherd. You never see sheep leading a Shepherd, only the opposite. As His faithful sheep, we want His will more than ours. We will then gladly submit to His plan and purpose for our lives.