When the sheep flock is small, the shepherd can handle it without any help. One man can usually handle fifty to one hundred sheep without any help. When the flock gets any bigger the shepherd will hire someone to help him. That person is known as the hireling.
The hireling does not have the same personal interest in the sheep that the shepherd does. He is not willing to risk his life to save one sheep. If a wolf were to attack the flock, the hireling will probably run away rather than run toward the wolf. While the hireling is good help he cannot be trusted to defend the flock when danger approaches.
In John 10:11-13, we read, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep."
Jesus is the good shepherd. He cares for all of his sheep. It does not matter how many sheep are in his flock, he knows and loves them all. He can take care of any number of sheep if they are in his flock. We can be comforted to know that he is always there for us when danger approaches. If we stay close to our Saviour, he will keep us from harm.
I am glad that we do not have a hireling to take care of us. I am thankful that we have such a wonderful good shepherd. I know that you are thankful too. Keep reading your Bible. Learn all you can about how to stay close to the Good Shepherd.
If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you. Until next time, study your Bible and get the wisdom of God.
Published by The Old Paths Bible School