11 [c]I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd [d]lays down His [own] life for the sheep. 12 But the hired man [who merely serves for wages], who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away; and the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them.
14 I am the Good Shepherd, and I know [without any doubt those who are] My own and My own know Me [and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]— 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it] for the benefit of the sheep.
The people who Jesus was addressing were mainly shepherds and so they could clearly understand what He was talking about. They understood the difference between a good and a bad shepherd. They knew the responsibilities of a shepherd and thus they could connect well with His message.
Not only did Jesus talk about it, but when the time did come, He actually laid down His life for us as a good shepherd would. He did not abandon us in our time of need; He sacrificed his life for the sake of ours.
As a good shepherd He knows those who are His and He takes care of them. You cannot talk about a good shepherd and not look at Psalm 23 because it paints the perfect picture of a good shepherd.
Because the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes sure that I am generously provided for. He leads me to green pastures where I can lay down and rest, He leads me to still waters where I can be refreshed. The Lord my shepherd leads me on the road of righteousness for His names sake. Even when I have to go through the valley of the shadow of death, He is right there with me I do not have to take that trip alone. He leads me and guides me.
Because He loves me, He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies, He anoints my head with oil and He ensures that my cup run over. Because of His leading, goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in His house forever!