Sunday, February 18, 2007

"Straying Like Sheep"

Okay one last post before I start studying Hebrew again. I've been thinking about sheep for a while because of the label Jesus gives us as His sheep...

Have you really ever thought about what sheep are like? I've heard people say that sheep are really dumb. A good friend of mine, PJ Holmertz, was teaching once and said that a speaker brought a sheep to demonstrate its stupidity. He said they walked it into a corner and it couldn't find it's way out.

Honestly, that was hard for me to believe. But I love PJ and I believe him.

So last Thanksgiving I while we were driving out to Greeley, CO in the RV to hang with family I was talking to my dad about sheep. They used to have sheep. He told me a story that I think is good for understanding what we are like in the Lord's eyes.

Here it goes...
They had just acquired a flock of sheep and one had gone astray. I'm not sure if my dad was told he had to go find it and get it, or if he noticed it was gone and went after it...nonetheless he went after it. He didn't run or walk after it though...he took a tractor. He said that he spotted the sheep and it was up against a fence. As he pulled the loud tractor closer to the sheep he noticed that it got really scared and shook a little before falling down. Dad went up to the lamb and tried to get it to come to, but he couldn't. So he drove the tractor back home to get Grandpa Braymen.

So they come back out together to get this lamb. After looking at it a minute Grandpa told dad that the sheep had died. It must have had a heart attack or something.

Okay, I haven't worked with sheep before, but dad has. And this story really brings a few things to light to me. If we are truly like sheep...then when something big and glorious comes after us we are scared and we would literally die in the presence of this glory [I know, my dad on a tractor is an imperfect example of glory, but you get the point...sorry dad:)].

Second, the owner of the sheep isn't going to just let the sheep stray. They're going to actively go out after them.

Lastly, the sheep are so stupid. Do you get it. You're dumb...and I'm dumb. Nothing cultivates humility like coming to a realization that there is a lot that is wrong with you. Don't get too depressed though, because there is grace to be found in Jesus Christ. Don't be fearful and die in your stupidity and ignorance. When the Good Shepherd gently puts His hand you your shoulder when you are completely distraught and says, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid [Mark 6:50]," stand up and follow Him in repenting and believing in the gospel [Mark 1:15]."

God bless you brothers and sisters. My prayer is that you will be strengthened in all hope and love in the gospel this week. May God be glorified in you, to you, and through you!

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