Of course, Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we are his sheep. He knows us and cares for us. He was willing to and, in fact, did lay down his life for us. He didn’t throw himself between us and a bear, but in dying for our sins on the cross he did come between us and the roaring lion who is trying to devour us.
Jesus even says that this sacrifice of laying down his life is a reason his Father loves him. Of course, his life would not be laid down permanently because he would take his life back in the resurrection. He also explained that no one was taking it from him. If it had been taken from him by force it wouldn’t have been a sacrifice.
The final thing Jesus told his Jewish listeners was that they were not his only sheep. He explained that he had other sheep that were not part of the nation that had been God’s people. We can be grateful that through Jesus both Jews and Gentiles are able to be part of the same flock of sheep and that we don’t have to depend on hirelings. We must still watch for false shepherds and religious leaders who try to lead us away from our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Don’t let anyone lead you away from the shepherd who died for you.