Jesus is using the image of the good shepherd in this piece of scripture. I’m sure his audience would have known pretty well the attributes of a good shepherd and a bad one. Jesus sums up the explanation by saying that his good shepherding will allow the sheep to have an abundant life.
I’m always struck by that line. I often think that we have misinterpreted that in our society to think that our abundant assets and belongings are what Jesus is talking about. But I think we’re wrong. The abundant life is for the sheep, so we must ask ourselves what would make a sheep’s life abundant. I suspect it would be food and water, and a safe place to graze and sleep, and a good shepherd to care for them. In turn then, if our basic needs are met, if we have a God who loves us, then we are set to live our own abundant life.
Good Shepherd, give us eyes to see our abundance and hearts that rejoice in the simple things that will lead us to a truly abundant life. Amen. — JEM