"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd" (John 10:14-16 NIV).
Sheep are funny animals. They can easily get themselves into a bind that they can't get out of. The sheep are experts at putting their heads through a hole in the fence but being unable to get their heads back out. It was the shepherd's job to rescue them. In a pasture with acres of grass, the sheep want the grass on the other side of the fence. With miles of fence line, the sheep will find the one stray wire sticking out and cut himself on it. Thus was the life of a shepherd. Near Bethlehem the ground is rocky and hilly. There are many places where a lamb could get in big trouble. And there were hungry enemies on the prowl, just waiting to pounce on a stuck lamb. The shepherd's job was his livelihood. Every lost lamb was money or a meal out of his pocket.
Our Good Shepherd knows us well. He sees the trouble we get into and He laid down His life for us. He knows there are still hurting, hungry, lost sheep out there and He has a plan to rescue them all. When they hear His voice they will come to Him and listen, and soon they will become part of His flock, staying close to Him, following Him.
""And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger"" (Luke 2:8-12 NIV).