Have you ever seen a herd of sheep? They are beautiful out in the green pasture. They are all fuzzy and warm-looking, huddled together. Whenever I see a herd of sheep, I always think that they look a little lost. They look like they need a shepherd! There is a verse in the Bible about the perfect Shepherd:
“I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know Me.” (John 10:14)
I think that Jesus liked sheep, too. You see, in this verse and in other parts of the Bible, He often called Himself the Good Shepherd.
There aren’t too many sheep where I live—you have to drive a long ways out of town to find them. If you live in Scotland or New Zealand, you might be more fortunate. You might get to see lots of sheep every day.
In Jesus’ day, there were sheep all around. When Jesus spoke to the people and told them that He was the Good Shepherd, those listening knew what He meant. They knew what a good shepherd was.
So, what is a good shepherd—do we know? Our verse gives us a good clue. Jesus tells us that He knows His own sheep! A good shepherd knows his sheep well. He (or she) needs to be able to tell the difference between his wooly, fuzzy sheep and the neighbor’s.
A good shepherd can tell and remember which of his sheep are sick. He can remember which sheep are getting older and slower, and which mama sheep is expecting a little lamb.
The shepherd knows which sheep are quiet and calm, and he definitely knows which of his sheep are quick and enjoy running away! A good shepherd knows his sheep—each one individually.
Shepherds know their sheep and they take care of them, too. A good shepherd is always on the lookout for danger. He looks out for wolves and poisonous plants. He warns the sheep and takes care of them. A good shepherd helps his sheep in any way, even carrying them when they are weak.
So, if Jesus is the Good Shepherd, then that makes you and me…what? Yes, it makes us His sheep and lambs. And He knows each of us, too. He knows what we are like and what we need—each and every one of us. And He protects us from danger, too!
You might not have a herd of fuzzy, wooly sheep near where you live, but you always have the Good Shepherd to care for you. Keep following Him, and remember that He knows you and loves you. Listen to your Shepherd and make it a wonderful new day—a new day with Jesus!
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