Why would anyone find comfort in the idea that Jesus is their Good Shepherd? Few of us see ourselves in any way comparable to sheep. We see sheep as foolish and stubborn. We see ourselves as smart, capable and self-sufficient. So, why would Jesus choose the Good Shepherd title? Didn’t He anticipate the fact that people would find it off-putting?
Of course. He knows our reluctance to acknowledge our need. Jesus looks past our false bravado and offers us what our souls long for. This is the good news of His gospel. The truth is it doesn’t get any better than this. There is a Supreme Person who understands our need for guidance and protection. He delights to find us when we are lost and take care of us when are found. He actually lays His life down for the human race He loves. The Good Shepherd image is carefully chosen so that we would realize what God is like. Jesus was teaching us that our fears about God being a tyrant are misplaced. He is everything we want and need in a leader…if we are willing to follow. That’s the sticky part. Human sheep prefer the benefits of being part of a well led flock without the requirement of actually following a shepherd. Sure it’s silly, so, why not cut the nonsense and just let Him lead?