Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shepherd or Farmer

John 10:11-15 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”

Let’s talk about sheep for a minute. If you haven’t spent any time around farm animals let me explain a few things about sheep. Other than turkeys, sheep hands-down are one of the most stupid creatures in God’s creation. But one thing that they can be trained and habituated to do is to follow the voice of the shepherd.

A “old school” shepherd spends all his time with his charges—he names them, talks to them, and knows them as individuals; even tells them apart when anyone else would see no difference. And if anyone else tries to talk to or lead the sheep, the sheep will scatter in a panic. Only with the familiar voice of their shepherd will they calmly follow him in trust to the good places to graze. Sheep have a total trust and dependence on the shepherd. Those sheep know that safety and security, food and drink, comes through the protection and leading of their shepherd.

Sheep nowadays are put in fenced in pastures made of a wire fence called “box-wire”. But the farmers know that the fencing cannot have “squares” bigger than a sheep’s head—if a sheep can get his head through the squares in the fence, he will squeeze his whole body through and escape. Farmers are all about profit margins like everyone else; so they just number the animals—sheep are a commodity after all—and if a few are lost to predators you just write it off.

So my point here, if you see where I am going with this; ask yourself who is the “good shepherd”?

And who is the “farmer”?

Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. (Psalm 95:6-7)

1 comment:

Christina Langella said...

Great post Lisa! I've always been able to relate to the analogy of a sheep -- particularly a dumb one.

I also am blessed to have a true pastor who understands that his primary responsibility is to see that Christ is formed in his flock. And, I can say even now, that those pastors who resembled the "hireling" were even used by the Chief Shepherd (Jesus!) to perfect the image of Christ in me! To God be the glory!!!