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It is simply inevitable, employees act differently than owners.  It is not an issue of being good or bad, but without ownership interest, there is little reason to risk life and limb to protect the possessions of others.  In the parable, Jesus distinguishes the shepherd from the hired hands by the shepherds willingness to protect and to sacrifice for his sheep.  The Shepherd knows his sheep, cares for his sheep and protects them with his very life.  Hired hands do what they are obligated to do, and NO more.

The religious world was the same way.  The leaders were like the hired help, they did what the law required and no more.  They were proud of it and loved to show that off.  There was little or no concern for the people, only for the rules.  It drove Jesus crazy.

He was the owner.  He created and now was trying to reconnect to the world sin had separated from him. He was picturing for the people what God was really like and describing the measures God was taking to save them from that eternal separation.

He is still doing the same today.  He is not the hired hand that turns at the first sight of trouble in our lives.  He is the shepherd that knows us and will protect us to the death.  We  simply have to trust and follow him.  What an awesome gift…What an Awesome God!!!

God Bless You

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 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. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”