Why did Jesus compare His followers to sheep so often? Why not bulls, or lions, or something a little more substantial? Sheep? They can’t find their own food, water or shelter. They can’t defend themselves. They eat grass. They’re just pretty uncool.
Then it dawned on me. The stories were more about the Shepherd than the sheep. Sheep need to be shepherded. They have to have someone who will lead them to food, water (still water actually because they will not drink from water that is running) and shelter every day. They have to have a shepherd who will protect them from harm. They even have to be led to pasture where they can rest. Without a loving, devoted shepherd they would certainly die.
I used to be a little offended at being compared to a sheep, but now I am very proud to be someone who is dependent on the Good Shepherd for life. Another lesson from John 10 and Psalm 23 is that it is He Who will make me lie down and rest; He Who will go before me; He Who will lead me to still waters and restore my soul. He will lead me in righteous paths and protect me with His very life. What a wonderful Shepherd!
It seems like He is doing all the work, so what is my responsibility in all this?
I am told to simply listen (my sheep hear my voice) and follow (and follow me). If I will do whatever it takes to stay close to Him every day, listen to what He tells me to do, and then do it….. I will learn what it is like to enjoy His promised “abundant life” (John 10), and experience a life where, “I shall not want” (Psalm 23)…. knowing that “nothing and no one can snatch me out of His hand“.
Let’s stay close to the Good Shepherd this year and be amazed as “goodness and mercy follow us every day“. We’ll also become much better husbands…..