Updated: Mar 20, 2020
One of the most familiar scenes in first century Palestine was the figure of a shepherd tendering his sheep. The land was given more to pastoral livestock than to agricultural farming. Goat herds and flocks of sheep were common sights.
The shepherd’s life was not one to be envied. It was hard and constant. The shepherd endured the dangers of thieves and wild beasts. He was bound to lead the sheep in constant search of food.
Many who listened to Jesus were all acquainted with the life of a shepherd when He said, “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11). So our Lord used their knowledge of the shepherd and the sheep to illustrate His own relationship to God’s true believers.
Jesus loves us, knows our names, and willingly gives Himself on our behalf. As His sheep, it calls us to respond with great love and loyalty.