Read John 10 today.

John 10:11-18 NLT[11] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. [12] A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. [13] The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
[14] “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, [15] just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. [16] I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
[17] “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. [18] No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
The difference between the hired hand and the good shepherd is motive and commitment. The hired hand will care for the sheep only as long as the money keeps flowing in, only as long as the hired hand is receiving the benefit. The good shepherd serves the sheep out of care for the sheep, even if there is no benefit for the shepherd.
Jesus declares Himself to be a good shepherd. He declares His motive and commitment are to the sheep. Such a declaration would be meaningless without something to back it up. We see in the actions of Jesus that these are not mere words to Him. Jesus died on the cross for His sheep.