As Christ continues to unveil his tremendous roles in John 10, it’s necessary to explore how the Lord becomes one’s shepherd. What does it take for that relationship to be established and the abundant life from v.10 to be guaranteed? The answer to that question is the same answer to this question: What ultimately does our Lord provide for his people?—Himself.
It’s the giving of himself, which provides everything God’s people would forever need. Without a shepherd being willing to go so far as to give up his own life to preserve the life of the sheep, the sheep are left vulnerable. How so? Well, first of all, there are external threats, such as savage wolves who bring false teaching in a slick and cunning manner and also, the great adversary, Satan himself, whom Peter refers to in 1 Pet. 5 as a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Then, there’s the internal threat of our own wicked heart, which expresses itself in foolishness and unbelief. The final verse of 1 Pet. 2 sums it up well—25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
It’s for those reasons that in order for the sheep to be fully protected and provided for, God’s Shepherd must give up Himself for the sheep.