A shepherd takes care of his sheep. He knows all of his animals. He looks after them and guards them, and if he has lost one he follows him until he finds it again. In doing so, he often risks his life. He takes the lost sheep on his shoulder and carries it home, to the safety. He leads his flocks of sheep on lush meadows and to fresh water, he goes ahead of them. He grazes his sheep and does not leave them alone. With his shepherd’s staff he protects them from danger and wild animals. He cares for the sick and weak sheep. The shepherd knows what his sheep need.
The sheep know their shepherd and follow him. Sheep who have lost their shepherd wander around disoriented. They search protection, guidance, direction, and supply. Sheep need a shepherd; they can rely on him. With their shepherd and in the flock of sheep, they have everything they need.
There are good and bad shepherds. A good shepherd loves animals and does his job well. Every single sheep is important to him and if he loses one, he looks for it until he has found it again. A bad shepherd works mainly to get his wages; the sheep are less important to him. He does not risk himself to find a single sheep that has been lost because he still has many in his flock.
We humans also need such a good shepherd who knows us and whom we know. There are situations, circumstances in life in which we wander around like the sheep, in which we feel lost and disoriented, lost our way and are exposed to danger. We can no longer get any further alone and long for security, protection, care, direction, orientation, guidance .
But who is this good shepherd and how can we distinguish one good shepherd from the many bad shepherds? In the Bible in John 10, 11-16 Jesus says:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A shepherd who only works for wages runs away when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they do not belong to him and he is not their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and disperses the herd. The paid worker runs away because he has only been recruited and the sheep are not really close to his heart. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and they know me, just as my father knows me and I know the father. I give my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not in this pen. I must bring them here too, and they will listen to my voice; and all will be one flock with one shepherd “
Jesus is the good shepherd who cares for us and knows what we need. He knows us and loves each and every one of us. Everyone is valuable and important to him. HE is our provider who gives us everything we need. HE takes care of us and goes after everyone who has got lost, who no longer knows the way and has lost orientation, and is on the search. HE is the source of life that quenches all thirst and hunger. He always wants to be with us. HE is our protection from the dangers of the world, our security, our home. And HE leaves his life for us so that we don’t get lost, but are saved.
There are many bad shepherds in the world who lead us astray and fail to keep their promises. Who do you want to follow? I invite you to open your heart for the true good shepherd and get to know him. So he will provide you with everything you need. He gives you love, security, security, protection, care, guidance, orientation, guidance and direction.
The Good Shepherd A song by David. The Lord is my shepherd, I will lack nothing. He grazes me on lush meadows and leads me to fresh springs. He gives me new strength. He guides me safely and lives up to his name. Even if it goes through dark valleys, I fear no misfortune, for you, Lord, are with me. Your staff gives me protection and comfort. You invite me and set the table for me in front of my enemies. You greet me like a householder his guest and fill my mug to the brim. Your kindness and love accompany me day after day; I can stay in your house all my life. Psalm 23