I am, Jesus says, for the fourth time. A good shepherd cares for his sheep because he has invested his life in them, unlike the one merely hired to look after them.
He knows his sheep and they know him. His care is personal, based on a relationship of love and trust.
The Good Shepherd will do anything for their protection and well-being, even giving his own life.
It’s a poignant, powerful image which begins to point us to Holy Week and the journey the Good Shepherd takes for his sheep.