“I am the good shepherd,” Jesus said. “I know my own, and my own know me” (John 10:14 NAS).
Throughout the Bible, God illustrates his relationship with his people as a Good Shepherd caring for his flock of sheep. From the early days of the patriarch Jacob (or Israel, as he was known in his later years), God was viewed as a shepherd of his people. When the man Israel was in his last days on earth, he told his son Joseph this: “God…has been my shepherd all my life to this day” (Genesis 48:15).
The prophet Isaiah said of the Lord: “Like a shepherd He will tend His flock; in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom. He will gently lead the nursing ewes” (Isaiah 40:11, NAS).
It is true that throughout the Scripture, the Lord is seen as a God who is concerned for the individual, but in addition to that, he is shepherd of his whole flock.
In our present day, with so much emphasis on individual perspectives, we do not speak or think much in terms of the whole church as a flock. Our emphasis is more on the specific aspects that exist for the individuals within the church. We think more about our individual needs.
Because of this, it is easy for us to lose sight of how important the concept of the flock is to God. We are often less interested in the importance of the whole of the Christian church and instead more captivated by programs of self-betterment and individual goals and achievements. These may also be worthy pursuits, but they can easily become centered only on self. It is true that we, as individuals, are important, but it is also important to see the grander perspective of God.