This picture & teaching of Jesus is rooted in Ezekiel 34:1-3 & 22-25. Centuries before Jesus came, God had prophesied that the leaders of his people were like abusive & neglectful shepherds and his people were like sheep. When Jesus arrived, he forever fixed this problem. How? When the Lamb of God was born in Bethlehem, God first chose shepherds as the people He wanted to spread the good news in this world. This is the good news…
The primary job of the Good Shepherd is to feed & protect sheep. Spiritually every human being needs food for our soul’s strength and protection from sin’s consequences. The story of the prodigal son in Lk. 15:1-7, shows the son akin to a lamb that is lost, the sheep suddenly becomes valuable to the wolf, but when it’s found, it’s value is restored to the Shepherd. While we are in the care of the Shepherd, the predator doesn’t care about the sheep, it is only the one lamb that wanders away. The Shepherd wouldn’t search if the sheep didn’t still have value, but while it’s lost, it’s in jeopardy of losing it’s life. Neither did the Prodigal Son when he took his Father’s inheritance and ruined it. Lk 15:12.
Why should any human being feel insulted to be compared to a lamb, when Jesus Himself was called and lived the role of the Lamb of God? John 1:29. Remember, that in Hebrews 13:20 God says, “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant”
I Peter 1:18-19 “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot”
Rev. 7:17 “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” What did Jesus say he would give as the Shepherd in His teaching recorded in John 10:26-28, His LIFE. How do Christians as sheep, know who to follow? Jn. 10:15-16. By learning and listening to His voice. His blood speaks of greater gifts than Abel’s blood, or any other martyr’s blood. His blood speaks of forgiveness, redemption and leads in glory to everlasting life-giving water. Therefore, in our communion with His Spirit, on the Lord’s Day, we have the cup in memory of his blood. We drink of this new covenant (promise), fulfilled in the future of Heaven’s security, power and life.