Jesus said that he was the Good Shepherd and would die for his people:
Jesus said, ‘I am like the good shepherd. The good shepherd is ready to die on behalf of his sheep. A worker who receives wages to look after the sheep is not like the shepherd. That worker does not own the sheep. So if he sees a wolf (wild dog), he will leave the sheep. He will run away. Then the wolf will attack the sheep. And the sheep will scatter. This is because such a worker only cares about his wages. He does not really care about the sheep.
I describe myself as the good shepherd. I know my sheep (my people) and my sheep know me. This is like my relationship with the Father. The Father knows me, and I know the Father. And I am ready to die on behalf of the sheep. I have other sheep, too. They belong to me, but they are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock (group of sheep) with one shepherd.
The Father loves me because I give my
life. But I will receive my life back again. Nobody takes my life from
me. I give my life because I want to give it. I have the authority both
to give my life and to receive it back again. My Father has ordered me
to do this.’
King David talked about how God looked
after his people like a shepherd — see his most famous poem Psalm 23.
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