11 “I am the proper shepherd. The proper shepherd lays down his soul for the sheep.
12 The hired hand, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them and runs away when he notices a wolf coming. The wolf then seizes and scatters them —
13 because he is a hired hand and doesn’t care about the sheep.
Qualified and caring
How can Jesus be a gate and a shepherd? He hasn’t changed metaphors. The gate is the shepherd who watches the sheep when they are enclosed in the pen. Only the most trusted shepherd is qualified to perform this task. Jesus explains here that he qualifies because he is not a mere hired hand. He does not desert his post when he notices a wolf. He cares about God’s people. They are his people too.
I used the word proper for καλός here because Jesus was stressing his suitability for this special task. He will go on to give another reason for his qualification – his relationship to the Father.
Lord, thank you for caring for us.