Jesus,  Jesus our faithful Shepherd,  Our Good Shepherd,  Sheep

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. (Isaiah 40:11 NLT)

In our previous devotional, “Our Good Shepherd,” we learned about Jesus as the Good Shepherd and the unique qualities of a good shepherd.


  • He is willing to risk his life to protect his sheep.
  • He calls his sheep by name, and they know his voice.
  • He keeps his sheep safe.
  • He guides the sheep.
  • He corrects them when needed.
  • He always keeps an eye on his sheep.
  • He leads the sheep into green pastures where they can safely eat without worrying about our predators.
  • He leads them to calm waters where they can safely drink,
  • He goes before the sheep, and the sheep follow.
  • He waits by the gate with his staff to protect them against enemies.


According to John 10:11-14, the good shepherd leads his sheep, finds food and water, as well as locates paths in the wilderness (see Psalm 23). The good shepherd stands between his sheep and danger and fights to protect them (John 10:11).

Isaiah 40:11 gives us a beautiful description of Our Good Shepherd, “He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. (Isaiah 40:11)

If you recall, towards the end of our last devotion on Our Good Shepherd, I asked you some questions to reflect on regarding the previous devotional on the Good Shepherd to prepare us for today’s lesson.  We know Jesus is our Good Shepherd, but are all sheep the same? How does our Lord deal with us individually?

Let’s first talk about the sheep. Believe it or not, not all sheep are the same. Some sheep are strong-willed and think the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. They find a way to sneak away, and the shepherd must search for them and bring them back.

The Shepherd Trilogy by W. Phillip Keller contains a story about one of his special sheep. He shared that he once owned a gorgeous ewe, the most beautiful sheep he had ever owned. He described her in the following way: “Her body was beautifully proportioned. She had a strong constitution and an excellent coat of wool. Her head was clean, alert, and well-set, with bright eyes. She bore sturdy lambs that matured rapidly. But despite all these attractive attributes, she had one pronounced fault. She was restless—discontent—a fence crawler.” (Keller, 1970, p. 25-26). So, because of all these attributes, he named her Mrs. Gad-about. She caused him more problems than practically the rest of the flock combined. She constantly looked for a way to feed on the other side of the fences or shoreline.

Mr. Keller was a good shepherd; Mrs. Gadabout wasn’t lacking access to pasture. His fields were well-maintained. He was proud of it. He had the best grazing land in the district. The problem was the ewe, Mrs. Gadabout, was not happy with the provisions made for her by her shepherd. So, she would find a way to go over the fence that was there to keep her safe. But she wasn’t the only one. She was able to teach her lambs to follow her bad behavior. She continued to do it despite Mr. Keller’s repeated attempts to find her and bring her back; by doing so, she was setting a poor example for the rest of the flock.

Unfortunately, Mr. Keller was forced to make a difficult decision if he wanted to save the rest of the flock. He loved her dearly, yet he had to get rid of her. Despite Mr. Keller’s affection for her and everything he had done to provide for her, Mrs. Gadaway was a sheep who was still unsatisfied and wanted more. Sound familiar?

We, too, tend to turn away from God in search of something better. Does that mean that God will get rid of us, much like Mr. Keller had to get rid of his sheep? Absolutely not! Our Heavenly Father does not cast us out when we run away or wander around in search of a better life. He lovingly and patiently waits for us.

Like some sheep, we sometimes think that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Even while God loves us deeply, meets all of our needs, and protects us from harm, there are moments when we still want more. And much like that rebellious sheep, Mrs. Gad-about, we find a way to leave the comfortable place God has provided for us in search of something better. I know this to be true because I was one of those sheep.

Jesus taught about the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. Like Mr. Keller’s sheep, the young son had it all. He had everything he wanted, but he thought the grass was greener on the other side. So, he packed his things and took his share of his father’s money, and left. Sadly, after facing many trials and challenges, he came to see that life outside of his father’s home was not better; he decided to return home. One of the amazing things about this parable is how the father never lost hope on the possibility of seeing his son again. When the father saw his son from a distance, he ran to embrace him. The same is true of our Good Shepherd. No matter what difficulties we face, He never gives up on us and lovingly brings us back to him.

My second question was whether or not we believe that our Good Shepherd treats all His sheep the same? That is a difficult question.  From my personal experience, He treats all His sheep equally, but He also treats each of us as individuals. God knows all His children. He knows everything about us. Although His love is still the same, how He shows it may differ depending on our personalities. We know that Jesus loves all His sheep and gave His life for us. He knows our joys and sorrows. He knows when we stray. He leaves the 99 in search of the missing one. I was one of the missing sheep.

I was so overcome with grief after my father passed away that I left my church because I didn’t feel like I was receiving any support from them. However, Jesus never stopped loving me. He was there when I faced trials and tribulations; He loved me through my disobedience, pain, and sorrow. Why? Because I am one of His sheep. He knew that I would one day return to Him, and when I did, He was waiting with open arms to embrace me and love me. Have I received any discipline while I was away? Absolutely! But those were the results of my actions. But through it all, God never stopped loving me. No matter how lost I was, I always felt His presence.

I find comfort in knowing that Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is in us through the Holy Spirit. He is watching over us and protecting us from harm. I know He has everything under control, even when things don’t go the way we want. He loves us and has great plans for each one of us.

Friends, I don’t know your current situation, but be encouraged that no matter what season in your life you are in, Jesus, our Good Shepherd is with you. As the Good Shepherd, He is working on your behalf, clearing any obstacles that stop you from finding peace and rest. Call out to Him, find shelter in his arms and let His Word bring you the comfort your heart needs. It is only in His presence that we find peace and rest.


My Lord and my Shepherd, thank you for always watching over me and for not letting me stay away for too long. Thank you for leaving the 99 to go after me. Lord, I know that even when I can’t see what You’re doing in my life, You are working behind the scenes to prepare my heart so I may experience peace and rest that can only be found in You. In Your precious name, I praise You and give You all the glory. Amen.



Keller, Phillip W. (1970). The Shepherd Trilogy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

The Holy Bible, New Living Translation. (1996). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Foundation.

Schmidt, D. (2023).  Herd of Sheep [Photograph].





I have often asked the Lord if writing is His calling in my life; after all, I'm a teacher, not a writer. Through the Book of Luke, in the New Testament, the Lord taught me that Luke had no idea that his study would ever impact our life. He wrote for the One, his friend, Theophilus. Yet, God used Luke, a doctor, to share the truth about Who Jesus was and why He came. So, why do I write? I write to share the truth of who Jesus is and what He has done in my life.

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