“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep” (John 10:11, NLT).
Hardly any of us can relate to what shepherds do, unless you live on a sheep farm. The closest I’ve come to sheep is seeing them by the side of the road a few times, eating lamb (which I really don’t like) and wearing woolen clothing (it itches). But when Jesus called himself a shepherd, even the city dwellers had some idea of what he meant, and they would immediately think of Psalm 23.
A shepherd is totally responsible for the welfare of his sheep. He watches over them with tender loving care, making sure they are fed, comfortable and safe. If necessary, he might put himself in danger to protect them. Would a shepherd actually die for his sheep? I kind of doubt it, but Jesus said he is a good shepherd and he did exactly that. We don’t have to know much about sheep and shepherds to know how much he cares.