“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14-15)
A HIRED hand that is merely serving for wages has an attitude that differs from the owner. The hired hand has nothing to lose and therefore cares less but the real owner, he has everything to lose and for that matter protects his assets with his very life.
The fact that scripture qualifies shepherd with the adjective good shows that there are other shepherds that fall under the bad category.
Jesus says, this is what differentiates me from the other shepherds, I give my life as an atoning sacrifice for their sins. I die in their place, to redeem them from sin, and danger, and death. The bad shepherd runs for his very life when trouble shows its head, leaving the sheep helpless.
Also when Jesus says I am the good shepherd in the above scripture, He goes on again to say; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. This is what it means…
I Know My Sheep
The word “know” here is used in the sense of affectionate regard or love. It implies such a knowledge of the sheep’s heart, wants, wishes, purposes, dangers, character, and circumstances and approves of them as a result of His deep interest in their welfare.
My Sheep Knows Me
The sheep in return know Jesus as their father, protector, and savior. They recognize their sins, and dangers: and wants. Also, they have felt their need of a Savior; they have come to Him, and they have found Him and His doctrines to be such as they need, and they have loved him. And as a flock follows and obeys its kind shepherd, so they follow and obey Him who leads them beside the still waters and makes them to lie down in green pastures.
The kind of relationship Christ has with His followers is beyond surface level knowing, it is deep and intimate. He cannot just pull out just because they erred, once He gets committed He stays committed to the end. He goes into the relationship with all He is, and He cannot pull out because He is so much into them, He loves you eternally.
The relationship Christ wants with you is what He has with His Father, the two must be one.
For that reason, He said in His word, I will never leave nor forsake you, (Hebrews 13:5) He has already committed Himself, will you commit yourself too?