What shepherd lays his life down for his sheep?
Seriously. Sheep have value and a good shepherd will fight to save and protect them. But would a shepherd really lay down his life--sacrifice himself--for an animal?
Only if they're value goes beyond market value. Only if their value is in knowing them and being known by them. Only for love.
God is love. He sent his son Jesus to be the good shepherd for his people (those who know his voice).
So, no, a typical shepherd won't give his life for his sheep. But, then, Jesus isn't your typical shepherd.
What about us? We're not shepherds.
Actually, we are. Jesus invites us to follow him. That means to do what he teaches and models. That includes shepherding others.
What does shepherding entail?
Leading, feeding and protecting the sheep so they'll thrive and multiply.
Our job? The same. Except our sheep are people who 'hear his voice' and follow him as well. Like Paul, we say to them, "Follow me as I follow Christ." Sounds like a shepherd to me.
Who's my flock?
My extended family.
My workout friends.
My coffee shop friends.
What's God saying to you today?
What are you going to do about it?