Few of us have ever pastured, fleeced, or slaughtered a sheep. So we don't have the experience to understand the image of the Good Shepherd. Nevertheless, many people are fascinated with this image. Perhaps they instinctively know the deep and compelling need of the human person to be shepherded.
One of the main works of a shepherd is to guide the sheep. If we are on the road to eternal life, we are on a rough and narrow road (Mt 7:14). We are traveling through alien territory occupied by a "corrupt generation" (Acts 2:40, RNAB), a veritable "culture of death." As we walk through this "valley of the shadow of death" (Ps 23:4, KJV), we unjustly suffer insults and persecution (see 1 Pt 2:21, 23). We are in danger of being stolen, slaughtered, and destroyed (Jn 10:10).
It is as if we are walking through a mined-field. Our next step can detonate an explosion in our families, marriages, work, health, etc. We can't see the mines below the surface. We desperately need guidance. We need a shepherd, and a good one. Jesus says: "I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" (Jn 10:11).