"When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion … because they were as sheep not having a shepherd." (Mt. 9:36)
How does a shepherd see his sheep? The shepherd "cares for the sheep … calls his own sheep by name … knows his sheep … lays down his life for the sheep … gives unto them eternal life." (John 10:3,13-15,28) The shepherd sees each individual sheep. When only ninety-and-nine out of one hundred are within the fold, the shepherd thinks only of that one which is lost, and goes out into the night, searching, until he finds it. Jesus sees every one in a crowd. Every one is important.
Here is the difference between other attempts to help man, and the outlook of Jesus. Socially we may belong to the same service organizations. Politically we may belong to the same party and espouse common views. Economically we may be a part of the same union and agree on improving conditions. Even ecclesiastically we may be herded together into the same denomination. But in every such attempt we count sheep instead of seeing sheep. In numbers we lose the individual. Not so with Jesus.
-- H.S. Vigeveno in “Jesus the Revolutionary”