Author Phillip Keller wrote, “Sheep are notorious creatures of habit. If left to themselves, they will follow the same trails until they become ruts; graze the same hills until they turn to desert wastes; pollute their own ground until it is corrupt with disease and parasites. Many of the world’s finest sheep ranges have been ruined beyond repair by over-grazing, poor management...and ignorant sheep owners.”
It is clear that sheep need a competent shepherd! Jesus states in John 10 that He is more than competent; He is the “good shepherd” (v. 11). He is known to both the sheep and the gatekeeper (v. 3). He leads His sheep in and out to pasture and calls each one by name (vv. 3–4). His sheep recognize His voice (v. 4). As the good shepherd, He acts as the gate through which they must pass (v. 9). He protects His sheep from predators even at the cost of His life (vv. 11, 13–15).
Speaking of the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day, Jesus declares that they have not looked out for God’s people. Here Jesus compares them to hired hands who abandoned the sheep and ran away in the time of the sheep’s greatest need (vv. 12–13). They left the sheep vulnerable to attack.
By contrast, Jesus was willing to die for His sheep (v. 11). There is an intimate and trusting relationship between the Good Shepherd and His sheep (v. 14). We are assured that Jesus knows His sheep as well as He knows God the Father (v. 15). This is a remarkable truth that is worth pondering.
>> If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then He is your Good Shepherd and you are one of His sheep. He knows you intimately just as He knows the Father. A competent shepherd understands that sheep don’t always know what’s best for them. That is the shepherd’s job! Trust the Good Shepherd to guide your life.
You know us as well as You know Yourself, Lord! May we know You better each day, loving You more and responding more readily to Your voice with each day and each year. You are truly the Good Shepherd.