Hired Hands and the Shepherd


“The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away…”
-John 10:12 


How bad does it hurt to be rejected? We’ve all been there. We’ve all been rejected by teammates, family members, boyfriends/girlfriends, co-workers and bosses. And when it happens, it hurts!

I was reading in John 10 this morning, coming fresh off a rejection myself, and it struck me just how important it is for us to understand Jesus’ role as our shepherd during these times. In John 10:12, Jesus talks about a hired hand who doesn’t stick by the sheep through tough times. He abandons them because they aren’t his own, and he’s not committed to them. Why would he stick around to get eaten by a wolf himself when he’s not the true owner of the sheep? So, he flees the scene, leaving the sheep abandoned and vulnerable.

All of us are sheep, whether we realize it or not. And it’s important for us to put our trust in a shepherd instead of the hired hands of this world. According to Jesus, He is our shepherd. And when trouble comes, He is the only one who is willing to lay down His life for us, His sheep. When that wolf comes, you better believe He’s getting out his rod and staff and fighting the thing off. He won’t just leave us there to be attacked. He says by His own words that He will lay down His life for us. And that’s not just talk. He actually did it when He went to the cross and died for us. You talk about commitment!

Here’s the deal: rejection hurts. Period. But what does it REALLY matter if a hired hand abandons us when we have a Shepherd? What have we really lost? Sure, it will hurt, and we’ll have to experience some pain. It’s okay to enjoy the presence of the hired hands. But when we realize that our good Shepherd is still there and that He will never leave us, we can embrace the peace and comfort and security that we may have thought we’d lost when the hired hand took off.

Rest assured today. No matter what rejection you’re experiencing, whether it was at the hand of a coach, a teammate or even a family member (those really hurt), know that your good Shepherd hasn’t left you. In fact, He’s the only One who loves you enough to lay down His entire life for you. And when we think about it, what more could we ever want than that? 


1. What was your latest rejection and how did you react to it?
2. Do you struggle with feeling abandoned? Have you embraced Jesus’ role as your good Shepherd?
3. Read John 10 three times today. Really ask the Lord to open your eyes to see Him for who He truly is and wants to be in your life. 

Bible Reference: 
John 10