The image of Jesus as a shepherd really helped the people of his day. People in Jesus' day were dependent on sheep for their livelihood, and the sheep were dependent on the shepherd for their protection.

When I was very young, we had a small sheep farm for awhile. All of my older brothers and I showed our sheep each year at the 4-H county fair each year. Richard, my second oldest brother, had one sheep that he worked with so much that it would come right up to him anytime he was in the barnyard. Especially when it was feeding time, his favorite sheep was always right next to him. Richard also did a lot better than I did at the fair, because of his connection to his sheep. I wasn't so fortunate. I usually got last place, as I chased my sheep around the show ring. But, Richard was a good shepherd to his sheep, and his sheep followed his lead.

Are we following our shepherd's lead?