Just a few miles from my house is a sheep farm. I pass it everyday. I’m always intrigued as I watch the sheep. They are so cute! For the most part they sort of meander around and just hang out. Eating and doing what good sheep do… it has been my privilege however to see them in the presence of their shepherd.
- When their shepherd comes out and calls them, you can tell that they immediately recognize his voice.
- I have seen him call them from the barn and they respond to the sound of his voice and turn from whatever they are doing and go to him.
- I have seen him lead them from one pasture to the next. He opens the gate, walks through and all the sheep follow right behind through the gate.
- I have seen him carrying a sheep over his shoulders.
- I have watched as he softly grooms and inspects each sheep as they stand patiently in the lot awaiting their turn under the sheers.
I asked a shepherd once about using one of the sheep for a church production. He said that wouldn’t work well because they know his voice and will only do what He tells them. They will not respond to or obey another voice. Hummmm.
As we approach Christmas and sing songs of the shepherds and tell the stories of the shepherds in their fields and around the manger… we need to remember WHO our shepherd is and WHAT our shepherd does… We are the sheep of His pasture and The Shepherd watches after HIS sheep.
David says… The Lord is my shepherd. Jesus called Himself the good shepherd…
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. John 10:14-15 (NIV)
We can only sing about the Lord being our shepherd because he first became the sheep which was slaughtered in our place.