The word of God is full of metaphors and symbols to convey certain truth in practical terms… For instance, the hand of God actually means God’s covering or protection or anointing over his people.
In John 10, the scriptures speak about role of the shepherd, the sheep, the thief and the hireling.
In one of those metaphors, Jesus said: I am the good shepherd! This statement expresses his plan, purpose, intimacy and closeness to His sheep.
The unique characteristics of these symbols are pointers to what our relationship with Jesus should look like.
Today, we will look the characteristics of the hireling, the sheep and the shepherd:
Who is a hireling?
- Caretaker: His job is to look after the sheep
- Earn his wages: Sense of obligation alone
- No attachments to the sheep whatsoever
- He is there when the going is good
- When things go south, he is gone
- He’s afraid of the wolf
- He would not defend the sheep: He is there only for the ride.
Let’s look at the characteristics of Sheep real quick:
- Sheep are very meek.
- Sheep are innocent animals. They do not give their shepherds a lot of problems
- Sheep are a prey species, and their only defense is to flee. Flock mentality movements protect individuals from predators.
- Sheep are a very needy animal: Sheep are unable to right themselves and will die of starvation if not turned over by shepherd. Sheep can be flipped over and then can’t get back up without the shepherd turning them back over.
What does a shepherd do?
- The Shepherd is a Watchman
- The Shepherd is a Guard
- The Shepherd is a Guide
- The Shepherd is a Physician
- The Shepherd is a Savior
- The Shepherd is a Provider
- The Shepherd is a Lover