My boys love animals and they will go to great lengths to care for them. Even if the animal could hurt them, they want to get close to the animal and try to pet it. I am always glad that the zoo uses barriers that my kids can’t squeeze through. I don’t think they would think twice about swimming with the polar bears like that lady did a few years ago. I mean the polar bears need to be pet, right? Animals are unique. Some of them are smart and some of them are on the same level as a box of nails. Some are very aggressive and some are as gentle as a snow flake. It just all depends on the animal. It does help to know which one is which, though, before agreeing to watch it for the weekend. We don’t have a lot of aggressive animals in our neighborhood, but we have had an abundance of turkeys around. This actually has been an increasing issue over the last couple years. They don’t do anything destructive except play in traffic and follow us around.
One time there was a turkey that followed us home. The funny part was that it was looking in the window as I was preparing a turkey for dinner. Ironic? The thing was content just sitting on the deck watching me. I had enough and didn’t want my boys to head out there and get into it with a large animal. So, I chased it with a broom. I ran around the yard harassing the turkey. It did what many people do when I try to harass them, it just sat on a tree branch. The next day it was still there. I chased it again and this time it left!
Animals all have their quirks, so it is not a surprise that Jesus refers to us as sheep in John 10. In fact, we are referred to as sheep a bunch of times in the Scriptures. That means that we need a Shepherd because sheep are not smart animals. Without someone looking out for them they just wander around and get injured or lost. That does sound familiar doesn’t it?
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” – John 10:14-15
Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd. He shows us blessing in His pasture. He gives to us a life that is abundant and therefore different from anything else the world might offer. There is protection within His fold and we can trust Him fully with all parts of our lives. We know that we can trust Him because He does something that no other shepherds have done. He gave up His life for His sheep.
We are His sheep because we enter through Him and we ought to know and follow His voice. Whose voice are you following? What fold are you hanging out in? If it is anyone but Jesus’, this scripture says you are on your way to destruction.
I think it is time for us to desire to feel sheepish and to stay there.