King David had been a shepherd as a boy, so the image of the Shepherd Messiah underlies this text. But the intimacy of Jesus’ relationship with his flock goes beyond even this. This gospel is a statement of the seriousness of Jesus’ commitment to the Father’s will and his self-giving love for humankind. Jesus’ life is freely given for his flock. It is sometimes thought that Jesus died to satisfy the will of the Father imposed on the Son. This is not so. Jesus’ gift was a free gift because he responded at all times to that which was most profound in him: the Father’s love, which he wished to make known to the world. It is generous, self-giving love for others. In what ways are Christians today called to offer this same self-giving love for others? Who are those in our world who are most in need of this generous love?