I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Jesus is the good shepherd and contains within Him the inherent goodness of God. He is the only good shepherd because no other can be called good. Only He is purely true and purely righteous. And He is completely good. There is no sin at all contained in the person of Christ. He was never stained by that blackened plague that lurks inside of us nor contaminated by the touch of evil. And this good shepherd does good things. He lays down His life for His sheep. He values them and cares for them. And then He gives good things to them, like life and love and so much more until every possible need is met and no desire is left unsatisfied.
He takes on that role of shepherd because only Jesus can provide for us like we need Him to. Only He can protect us like we need Him to. He is strong yet gentle, mighty but kind, holy and humble, and He leads us about so faithful and true. There is no fear of Him leaving us or leaving us empty. There is no fear of danger, for we are safe in His arms. There is simply an abundance of love and grace and mercy shared with us, compassion for our brokenness, and tender care for each of us.
And He knows us, because a good shepherd is diligent in caring for His flock, and he pays attention to each one that is there. He seeks out the lost ones. He calls them by name. He gathers them together unto Him and ensures each one will have their part with Him forever. Each one is marked by Him and can’t be stolen away. We are sealed with His Spirit and covered by His blood and joined together with Him in that covenant bond that can never be broken.
And we know Him, because Jesus is unmistakable. There is no replacement for Him and no counterfeit that will do. Once we’ve known of Him and then come to know Him so personally, our gaze is fixed upon Him. And knowing Him is knowing freedom from sin and guilt and shame and those heavy burdens we used to carry by ourselves. And knowing Him is joy and peace because He becomes the desire of our hearts. And knowing Him is knowing love up close and personal—real love, unconditional, unending love. And knowing Him is to know a Savior and a Lord, a Master and a Friend, our Good Shepherd who will guard us and guide us all the days of our lives.