He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
One of the first songs many children learn in Sunday school is “Jesus Loves Me.” This song is simple but contains a very important truth – Jesus loves us. This love is a tender and compassionate love, just as a child needs and expects from his or her parents.
Sheep are almost completely dependent upon their shepherd. They easily go astray and get lost without someone to guide them. Isaiah 53:6 tells us that “we all, like sheep, have gone astray.” When we wander off, we need to be gently brought back onto the right path.
There are times when compassion is not the best option – see “The Zealousness of Christ” for an example – but it is certainly a preferable option. Only when compassion is continually rejected is another method needed to bring a person back into the flock.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. What He does is always in the best interest of His sheep. It is why He gave up His life. Without His sacrifice, there would be no forgiveness of sins. Because of Christ’s compassion though, He has done everything for our redemption.