XCIV. The Good Shepherd.

JOHN x. 11. “I am the Good Shepherd.”

WHEN our Lord calls Himself the Good Shepherd, is He
using a title which has lost its value since He has ceased
to live visibly upon the earth? This title has a true
meaning for Christians, and an attractive power which is
all its own. To enter into the full force of this image,
we must know something really of ourselves, and some-
thing really of our Saviour.
I. As the Good Shepherd, He knows His sheep. He
knows us individually, not merely as we seem to be, but
as we are. It is because He thus knows us that He is
able to help, guide, and feed us.
II. He has a perfect sympathy with each. He is not a
hard guardian, without any sort of feeling for our indi-
vidual difficulties, yet this sympathy is guided by perfect
prudence. The Great Shepherd has proportioned our
duties, our trials, our advantages, our drawbacks, to our
real needs, capacities and characters.
III. He is disinterested above all, as the Good Shepherd.
He seeks not ours, but us. He gains nothing by watching,
guiding, feeding such as us. He gave His life for the
sheep. He gave it once for all eighteen centuries ago;
but His death is just as powerful to deliver us from the
onset of the wolf as then. Self-sacrifice such as that on
Calvary does not lose it virtue by the lapse of years.
Henry Parry Liddon, D.C.L.