AW Tozer said, “The most important thing about a person is what that person thinks about when they think about God.” In the scriptures God shows us what He is like and even what kind of relationship we can have with Him. One example of this is Him being the Shepherd and us being His sheep. Here is a brief exploration what that means and looks like in our lives!
THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS SHEEP…
Jesus said this about himself and us in the Gospel of John:
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep… 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
John 10:11-15, 25-28
He doesn’t compare us to a lion, eagle, or even a horse. Out of all the animals God could have compared us to, why Sheep? It is not a compliment, but a real assessment because sheep need a shepherd to lead them. Here are some reasons sheep need a shepherd:
- Sheep are Dumb: They are not smart at all. Just the way their brains are wired.
- Sheep are Directionless: They are prone to wander & get lost. Even if left in the perfect environment.
- Sheep are Defenseless: They can’t fight, run away, or even posture themselves to scare anything away!
Check out this news story as reported by USA Today in July 2005…
“Hundreds of sheep followed their leader off a cliff in eastern Turkey, plunging to their deaths this week while shepherds looked on in dismay. 400-450 sheep fell 15 meters to their deaths in a ravine in Van province near Iran but broke the fall of another 1,100 animals who survived. Shepherds from a nearby village neglected the flock while eating breakfast, leaving the sheep to roam free. The loss to local farmers was estimated at $74,000 – $100,000.”
One sheep wandered off a cliff and 1,499 others just followed along. Can you picture it? 1,500 sheep, each walking off a cliff, one after the other. Soon they were piled so deep that the ones at the bottom were crushed to death and the ones on top were lying on a big downy-soft pillow.
To say that God is our shepherd and we are sheep, is to humble ourselves, admitting what is true about us, & to elevate God, declaring what is true of him.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD WILL ALWAYS DO 2 THINGS…
1. He Will Always CORRECT.
God loves us enough to guide and correct us! This is something to ponder when we are tempted to wonder. Our attitude many times is, “You can’t tell me anything!” When it comes to somebody “correcting” us we are Dramatic, Defensive, & Overly Sensitive. We must also remember that the Lord corrects and disciplines those whom He loves and that belong to Him.
5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastises everyone he accepts as his son.”
2. He Will Always PROTECT.
Remember sheep have no defense mechanism, but there is security with the Shepherd. He will protect us from the enemy,the things I don’t even know I need protection from, and even from myself! We can live in Faith and not Fear! Sheep don’t STRIVE! They just peacefully trust and follow the Shepherd.
If Jesus is our Good Shepherd and we are His sheep then all we have to do is FOLLOW Him.
In the 23rd Psalm David, who knew something about being a shepherd, wrote what our lives look like when we choose to follow the Shepherd!
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
– Nate Galloway