Who Wants to Be a Sheep?
Most people view being called a sheep as an insult. They think of sheep unquestioningly following their shepherd and view the term as implying a lack of intelligence and lack of thinking for one’s self. Others remember the term, “Led as lambs to the slaughter,” and think of people who are sheep as people being exploited by others. Indeed, we have in our culture the phrase, “being fleeced” to describe one who has been taken advantage of financially.
Because of this, some bristle at God’s word that describes His people as sheep. In addition to today’s passage, God says in Psalms, “Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” (See also Ps. 95:6-7 & Psalm 23)
But Let’s Get Real…
But, if we are honest, we can see how much humans are like sheep. The strongest individualist dresses uniquely, just like all of his friends. The most outspoken “progressive” tunes into the same news sources as the rest of her like minded friends. It is trendy to be “independent” in the same ways, using the same “cutting edge” technology, driving the same cars, liking the same Indy movies, and eating at the same restaurants.
We might as well say, “Baaa, baaa.” and get over it.
Who Better to Follow?
So, if we are going to be followers after all, who better to follow than the One who knows you, laid down His life for you and makes life fulfilling for us as we follow Him? An old Dylan song said, “You got to serve somebody.” Why not serve the Good Shepherd who genuinely cares for our well being and is able to give us eternal life?
Jesus will not run away from us when trouble comes. He will not exploit and use us. And He comes after us when we wander away. He leads us to places of nourishment and rest when we need to slow down – if we will let Him. Rest in our Good Shepherd.