Nothing pictures God’s relationship with His people better than a shepherd and his sheep. The shepherd’s staff could have been Israel’s national symbol because the most familiar scene in Judea was a shepherd standing on a hillside tending his flock. God borrows this picture and applies it to Himself.
For example, the prophet Isaiah says of Messiah. “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” (Isaiah 40:11).
Jesus declared, “I AM the good shepherd,” not the good teacher, or the good psychologist, or the good moral leader, or even the good CEO. A shepherd is what we need most.