“I am the good shepherd . . . The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:14, 3 ESV).
Jesus often spoke in rural images that communicated visually to the people He addressed. Even though we are not as acquainted to those images today, they still communicate a great deal to us, even in our modern, urban, industrialized world. One such image that Jesus used was a shepherd. Shepherds were very commonplace. A good shepherd refers to more than merely skill in the shepherding task. The word is used in much the same way we would refer to a good doctor. One that is not only adroit in skill but one known for his sympathy and his graciousness. So the word good describes the quality of consciousness which makes him lovely and beautiful.
Jesus, the good shepherd, is concerned and interested in you. You matter to Him. He knows you. He calls you by name.
The eastern shepherds raised sheep for wool rather than for food. Thus sheep were usually in a shepherd’s flock for years and were often known by descriptive names like “Brown-leg” or “Black-ear.” The shepherds knew each sheep, everyone of them. And, likewise, the sheep knew the shepherd’s voice.
It is a wonderful feeling to be known, especially by someone who cares for and loves you
Have you ever gone to a gathering, and didn’t know a soul? You feel so alone, so isolated, so distant. Then all of a sudden someone from across the room calls your name. You are recognized. You are known. A flood of acceptance and peace comes over you. You relax, you belong.
Such it is with the good shepherd. Jesus knows you. He calls you by name. He accepts you. You are His.
Watch for my newest eBook: Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love