John 10:14-15 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.
If you could be any kind of animal, what would you choose? Would you choose a bird, dog, horse or elephant? Most people, when asked, would not choose to be a wolf, snake or goat. Interesting that throughout Scripture followers of Christ are described as sheep. People opposed to Him were labeled goats, vipers or wolves. As sheep, Jesus also claims his title as our Shepherd. How then are we like sheep? And how is Jesus like a shepherd?
Sheep, by nature, are dumb animals. They cannot do tricks like dogs or horses. Unlike cats, sheep will eat anything in sight. They are also very nervous animals. The will scatter for fear from a fluttering leaf, gust of wind or sudden noise. Each will run in their own direction. Besides lacking intelligence and bravery they are also stubborn. It takes prodding by someone to get them to move, each one requiring a poke. Anyone can get them to move, leaving them vulnerable to a bad shepherd or dog. In summary we can say that sheep are easily misled, easily duped and easily in trouble. Sounds like us.
Jesus, our Shepherd, will do everything in his power for us. He even will give his life for us. He will not mislead us. Manipulation is not his game, either. When we find ourselves in trouble, Jesus is only a word away. These are things that make Jesus a Good Shepherd. When we listen and follow Him, our fears, insecurities and troubles disappear. Now that’s Good News.
Jericho Road Ministries Chapel, 2011.