The primary application of the Good Shepherd metaphor is to the flock. The primary beneficiary of Jesus’ shepherding, His care, His provision, His protection, is the church collectively—I individually benefit in so far as I am a part of the whole. His blessings are realized within the flock as He fends off wolves and thieves (10:2, 10).
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” — John 10:11
Among the most cherished titles of Christ is that of “The Good Shepherd.” Never resting, ever vigilant, exposed to the elements, vulnerable to predators, the beloved Shepherd persists in leading, caring, providing and guarding His sheep.
His sheep? That’s us. We are defenseless sheep, creatures capable of neither flight nor fight, prone to wander, easily lost, blindly following, and desperately needing wise shepherding. Jesus is all that for us.
Note the plural noun at the end of the preceding sentence: For us. The blessings of the shepherding of the Good Shepherd certainly apply to us individually. The Lord is my shepherd and consequently, I shall not want. He leads me to the green pastures. He leads me to the still waters. The first person pronoun is prominent right through to the end of the 23rd Psalm: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”