He was the one and only person in charge of the flock of sheep. In the morning, each Shepherd would call to himself the flock that followed him and walked behind him. He carried with him a blanket to sleep outdoors, a saddlebag with food and a staff to defend himself. Jesus presents a variant to this ancient image, he is the "Good" shepherd, not a mercenary, he loves his sheep calling them to himself one by one, he does not flee in front of the wolf but rather defends them to the death. He is often represented in the crib with a sheep on his shoulders, almost like a son.
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