In our sickness we need a saviour, in our wanderings a guide, in our blindness someone to show us the light, in our thirst the fountain of living water which quenches forever the thirst of those who drink from it. We dead people need life, we sheep need a shepherd, we children need a teacher, the whole world needs Jesus!
If we would understand the profound wisdom of the most holy shepherd and teacher, the ruler of the universe and the Word of the Father, when using an allegory he calls himself the shepherd of the sheep, we can do so for he is also the teacher of little ones.
Speaking at some length through Ezekiel to the Jewish elders, he gives them a salutary example of true solicitude. I will bind up the injured, he says; I will heal the sick; I will bring back the strays and pasture them on my holy mountain [cf. Ezek 31:11–16]. These are the promises of the Good Shepherd. . . .
Such is our Teacher, both good and just. He said he had not come to be served but to serve, and so the gospel shows him tired out, he who laboured for our sake and promised to give his life as a ransom for many [Matt 20:28; Mark 10:45], a thing which, as he said, only the Good Shepherd will do.
How bountiful the giver who for our sake gives his most precious possession, his own life! He is a real benefactor and friend, who desired to be our brother when he might have been our Lord, and who in his goodness even went so far as to die for us!