If sheep choose to become 'without a shepherd,' they reject one of Christ's major gifts to His flock, taking themselves outside of His established order.
Even though under-shepherds do not always perfectly emulate Christ, He has nevertheless established their roles and has gifted them to serve in this way.
Martin Collins, reviewing the significance of Christ's final post-Resurrection sayings, "Feed My sheep" (appearing thrice) and "Follow me" (appearing twice), emphasizes that these words apply to all of God's called-out ones). We have a . . .