I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15 ESV)
Sheep. There is no better word in all the Scriptures to describe our humble and frail condition in this world. The most courageous, godly and Spirit-empowered person is still at best, a poor, helpless and defenseless sheep who desperately needs daily guidance and protection from our Good Shepherd. God’s people are never described as self-sufficient or inherently capable, but always dependent and incapable apart from the great Shepherd’s guidance. As the need of God’s people has always been to be shepherded and cared for, is it any wonder that the Lord GOD trained the great king David, not in the ivory courts of the palace, but in the rugged hills of a shepherd’s domain? And does not the title of “Good Shepherd,” teach us about the intimate and unceasing care that our Lord Jesus has for us?
Jesus is a king, but He is no tyrant. He is not a robber, harsh taskmaster, mocker or torturer of His people. No, He is a shepherd—and a good one. Unlike the bad shepherd who sacrifices his sheep to the wolves to save his own skin, our Lord laid down His very own life so that His sheep might live an abundant life. It is His tender hands that gently treat and bind our spiritual wounds that we receive from the thorns and thistles in this world. It is His strength that carries us when our feet threaten to slip beneath the waves of the storms of life. It is His rod and staff that smash flat the giants of doubt and despair that we meet when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. And when we are starving and dying of thirst, it is His sure footsteps that lead us to the green pastures and still waters where we may drink, eat, and lie down in perfect peace. No bank account, door lock or elite army can ever offer us the supreme safety and security that our Good Shepherd does. How can anyone dwell more secure than when Jesus, the Son of God, acts as the very door to the divine sheepfold where we find our rest? So long as the great high priest who rules by the power of an indestructible life occupies the way into the fold, no robber nor wolf nor demon nor even death itself can reach us, unless they first pass through him.
Believer, do you know the care of your Good Shepherd’s loving hands? Do you delight in the sound of your Good Shepherd’s voice? Do you rise early in the morning expectantly waiting for your Lord to let you graze in the lush, green fields of His precious Word? Do you sleep in peace knowing that your Good Shepherd unceasingly watches over your vulnerable and weak condition even while you slumber? Does your life overflow with joy and tears of gratitude for each day that you live for Him on this earth? Do you fiercely love Him for His ultimate sacrifice of laying down His own life for you on the cross?
The glory of the Christian life is not that we are weak and helpless sheep, but rather that we are weak and helpless sheep who BELONG to an omnipotent and unfailing Good Shepherd. We rejoice not because of the abundant possessions that we OWN, but because we are OWNED—owned by the One who purchased us with his blood, sealed us with His Spirit and calls us His very own!