12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
Jesus now invoked a contrast to the shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep by the person hired to take care of the sheep. The hired person is not willing to give his life for the sheep.
But a hireling,
The contrast to the “good shepherd” is the hireling who works for wages. He shepherds for money, not for the sheep.
he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep,
The hireling does not own the sheep; he merely works for the shepherd. The word “not” has emphasis—”The person paid to take care of the sheep is definitely not a shepherd.” The hired person has no personal investment in the sheep.
sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees;
Whenever a wolf comes to threaten the sheep, the hireling thinks of his own preservation and flees. He leaves the sheep vulnerable to attack.
and the wolf catches [snatches away] the sheep and scatters them.
The apostle John uses the word “catches” (snatches away) later in the chapter, for no one can snatch away anyone from the hand of Christ (Jn 10:28).
The hireling flees because he is a hireling
The hired person turns out to be the enemy of the sheep because he does not do his duty. His only interest is himself, his self-preservation, not the protection of the sheep.
and does not care about the sheep.
The hireling cares nothing for the sheep. His interest is wages, not the sheep. This is an indication of a false teacher. Israel’s history was full of these people.
Some pastors are only interested in wages, not the sheep.
It comes as a shock to some that there are worthless pastors (shepherds) in local churches. Many pastors teach false doctrine and live duplicitous lives. These men are wolves who prey on sheep. These pastors operate under the guise of a pastor but they are not pastors at all.
Zech 11: 17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.”