The Good Sheppard
Jesus, called us sheep! I used to be offended by that. Especially when I found that sheep are the dumbest animals that probably ever lived. Sheep are followers. They have one job. Follow the Sheppard. But sometimes they even got that wrong. By nature sheep follow. If we are like a sheep it means that we all follow something. We can follow after success, relationships, money, fame, material things, and so on. What, or who are you following? As a sheep we are to stay close to the Sheppard. Follow the Sheppard wherever he goes. But we are prone to wonder as the old hymn says. Our heart goes beating after other things. I used to see a picture of Jesus where He was carrying a little sheep. I know you have too. We may be prone to think, “Wow Jesus really loves that sheep”! Well He does love it! But He is carries that sheep for another reason. The reason? If a Sheppard had a sheep that just kept wondering off, kept getting into problems, kept going towards a cliff, and kept straying after other things, the Sheppard would take his rod and crack its leg so it couldn’t walk into trouble anymore. The Sheppard did this to save it’s life. We may say that’s just mean. But actually the sheep would become so close to the Sheppard through this that the sheep would never leave the Sheppard’s side again. My point? Sometimes only pain and suffering will get our attention and the Good Sheppard knows it. He knows that if we keep going on the path we are on that something terrible is gonna happen to us. The USA Today had a report that in 2005, 1500 sheep fell off a cliff. Do you know why? Because one fell off the cliff. The other’s just followed. Sheep are followers and if we are not following the Good Sheppard we are destined for destruction! What are you following today? I pray that you are following the Sheppard. I pray that you will start today before it’s too late!
John 10 New International Version (NIV)
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Pastor Robert Bullock
Trinity Baptist Church