In ancient times sheep were a very valuable commodity and often the sole source of income for the shepherd and his family. The sheep were with the shepherd for many years, often for all of the sheep’s life. So the shepherd would know them very well and have names for each one. The sheep knew their shepherd’s voice and they would never answer to the voice of a stranger.

The life of the Palestinian shepherd was very hard and he was never off duty. No flock ever grazed without a shepherd. Unlike the contemporary way of herding where the shepherd herds the sheep from behind, often with a stick, in ancient times the shepherd went first, to see that the path was clear and safe. The shepherd kept a constant vigil to ensure his sheep would not get lost.  His life was in constant danger as he cared for and protected his sheep from robbers and wild animals.  

In this scripture Jesus is the shepherd.

What a beautiful analogy or metaphor for Jesus.

What can we learn about God? What unique insights can this metaphor reveal about the nature of God and our relationship to him?

This story is about Jesus - who He is and what He is actually like. It is about the way God thinks, and about the way God acts towards us through his son. It is about the Father’s unending love and care of us.

The point of the parable of the lost sheep is this - that each is more precious than all. The shepherd leaves the herd to find the single lost sheep!

What a wonderful picture of the nature of the Son of God and his relationship to us his sheep!!!

Reflection > Fatherhood, Unconditional Love, Lost, Home