I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father,
and I lay down my life for the sheep.
John 10:14-15 (ESV)
Jesus tells us that one of His roles is that of a Shepherd. He then gives us a job description of what being a good shepherd entails.
He puts himself in danger to protect his flock. A hired hand wouldn’t do this.
The sheep know his voice and will follow him. If the sheep don’t know the shepherd, they will run away.
A good shepherd goes to all extremes to protect those of his sheepfold. Even placing himself (or herself) in danger to rescue one of his charges.
The Lord Jesus tells us that a hired person will not look after the sheep as closely as their owner. We see this thought carried out in our modern world. In the marketplace, the good employees are a blessing to those who patronize their stores. Lately, I have seen both good employees and not so good employees.
We can only pray for those who rankle our nerves that God will make them better representatives. God tells us to pray for those who spitefully use us. We also need to pray that God will remold us and make us into better servants for His kingdom.