Good Shepherds

John 10:11-15 WEB

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. [12] He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn’t own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them. [13] The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn’t care for the sheep. [14] I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I’m known by my own; [15] even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.


What makes Jesus a good shepherd? Is it because he is fast and strong and can defeat all our foes? Is it what he does for us that makes him a good shepherd? Or is it because of what he is doing inside of us that makes him the Good Shepherd? Do our victories prove to us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd? No, neither of these things make Jesus the Good Shepherd. We do not love him because he protects us and blesses us. Those are benefits of being in Christ, but they are not the fullness of Christ (John 1:16).

We love the blessings, but we must look further to see why Jesus is the Good Shepherd. In the text, it says Jesus lays his life down for the sheep. More, the hired hand does not care for the sheep. In other words, the hired hand does not love the sheep. Jesus loves the sheep. Jesus knows the Father and understands what being a shepherd entails. It is not always easy to be a good shepherd.

Being a good steward of God’s sheep means loving the sheep more than we love our own lives. Those preachers that only dwell on the promises but never teach the warnings and general exhortations do not love the sheep. They love attention and popularity. They love having a big ministry. But unless they will give up all that makes them beautiful in the world, they will never be good shepherds (Mat 6:24). They are the ones that preach to the lustful (2 Tim 4:2-5). Jesus calls those believers goats (Mat 25:46). The goats will not follow the Good Shepherd.


Lord, help me listen to those who teach me the entire Bible including the promises, the warnings, and the exhortations. I know you laid down your life for me because you love me. Help me love those around me by emulating you, Lord. Teach me to carry my cross and lay my life down for others. In Jesus’ name, amen.