Jesus the Good Shepherd
In the lesson of Jesus feeding the “five thousand” Jesus had just been reunited with his disciples after sending them out to work. By this time, Jesus was drawing large crowds of people. Mark writes about Jesus seeing a crowd of people and having compassion on them as a group of sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34).
Sheep are vulnerable animals, they wander aimlessly, and they need someone to defend them against predators. These are some of the reasons that make it important for sheep to have a shepherd that would guide them and protect them. Jesus uses this analogy many times to help us understand that we are like sheep in a dangerous world.
Because we live in a physical world and are blind to the spiritual threats around us, we too, walk aimlessly through life as sheep do. As a shepherd trains his sheep, Jesus also trains us through His word, the Bible. Within the Bible’s pages we can learn of the dangers that Satan presents to us and the dangers of not being in Christ.
To have Jesus as our shepherd means that He is our guide and we follow Him. To follow Jesus means to obey His every command and have a trust in Him that everything He does is for our best interest. The Bible says that we should deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him. This means we are willing to lay down our lives for Jesus. It may be hard for us to be willing give up our lives for someone else but not so much when we consider that Jesus first gave His life for us. This is what makes Jesus the “good shepherd!”
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11).