(John 10; Jeremiah 23:1-5; Ezekiel 34:2,5-23)
Now the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the sheep (vs. 13). When presenting Himself as the Good Shepherd in comparison with others, YAHSHUA gave a solemn picture of a hired shepherd. He said, But the hired servant who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming deserts the flock and runs away, and the wolf chases the and snatches them and scatters [the flock]. Now the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the sheep (John 10:12-13). We know nothing or very little about the responsibilities of a shepherd in our today’s society to understand the depth of YAHSHUA’S words. However, there is much we can learn from the life of a shepherd. For example, they lead the sheep to good pastures, and cooler places higher in the mountain; at night they sleep outdoors to guard the sheepfold from wild animals and sometimes they shelter their flock in a cave assuring them with reassuring voice. Shepherds have to be diligent, dependable and brave to be a good one. Their lives are involved with their sheep from dawn to dawn. The lives of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David and many others were lives that portrayed a life of true shepherds. A good shepherd also has a relationship with his sheep. We see this in the life of David. He was truly a good shepherd. For two times he risked his own life to defend them as he told King Saul, Your servant kept his father’s sheep. And when there came a lion or again a bear and took a lamb out of the flock I went out after it and smote it and delivered the lamb out of its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard and smote it and killed it. Your servant killed both the lion and the bear… (I Sam. 16:34-36a). Lion and bear are two powerful animals; a human being cannot easily prevail against them. David’s love for his sheep carried a weight of sacrificial love. He was willing to die to save them.