Jesus said, I am the Good Shepherd
Jesus declares that He is the “good shepherd” and gives two reasons why that’s true. First, his willingness to sacrifice His own life for the sheep’s sake. Second, the mutual assurance between Him and His sheep that they belong to each other.
Jesus willingly gave up his own life to save His sheep from destruction. He laid down his life at the command of His Loving Father, so that He could take it up again. On the cross, he died to pay for our sins that separate us from God the Father. Then He rose again overcoming death, and by that same resurrection power offers to us eternal life that beings the moment we receive it.
By contrast, a hired shepherd works for his own sake to receive pay. Since the sheep don’t belong to him, he lacks the instinct to protect them. When danger appears, he abandons the sheep and runs, leaving them defenseless under attack.
And a good shepherd knows which among all sheep belong to Him. And the timid lambs know the One who truly shepherds them and allow him to come near. They trust Him to lovingly protect them from destruction; and to provide all they need by His gentle hand.