Do you know a sheep shepherd? You may know some cowboys; however, a sheep shepherd is rare in our countries. In Jesus’ day, there were many shepherds, and He used the example of the shepherd to discuss his care for us. At the time of Jesus, the shepherd tended his flock in the open field. He always was ahead of his flock, leading them to places where the grass was green, and the best. He knew all of his sheep one by one, he knew which one needed more care and carried them over his shoulder if necessary.
To abandon the sheep when a wild animal attacked was never an option. It would be an act of cowardice on the part of the shepherd. He was willing to give his life, if needed, to save his sheep.
Jesus speaks of shepherds; however, he actually refers to pastors of humans. The pastor of humans should be like a shepherd: always ready to lead people to the green fields of the knowledge of God’s will and the clear and refreshing waters that enliven the spirit.
The pastor of the human herd should know each person and be ready to share his life by risking it if necessary even to die for his sheep. Only Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has all these qualities. That is why he is called the good shepherd!