We Are His Sheep

I am a visual learner.  Give me pictures, videos, or word pictures and you have my attention.  In todays reading of John 10 we get a picture of sheep.  The first 21 verses in this chapter are titled, The Good Shepherd and His Sheep.  For some reason I have always had a fascination with sheep.  I remember as a young child watching sheep being sheered either on Sesame Street or Mr Rodgers.  It was amazing how all of that wool comes off of them and they are completely transformed!  

Why does Jesus refer to us as sheep?  There are hundreds of references to sheep in the Bible.  God chose to use the word sheep to identify His followers. 

According to answers.com, here are some characteristics of sheep:

1. timid, fearful, easily packed 2. dumb, stupid, gullible 3. very vulnerable to fear, frustration, pests, hunger 4. easily influenced by a leader, by the shepherd 5. stampede easily, vulnerable to mob psychology 6. little or no means of self-defense 7. easily killed by enemies 8. the shepherd is most effective, calming influence 9. jealous, competitive for dominance 10. constantly need fresh water, fresh pasture 11. have very little discernment in choosing food or water 12. best water source is early morning dew 13. perverse, stubborn – will insist on their own way 14. easily “cast” or flipped over on their back, unable to right themselves will die of starvation if not turned over by the shepherd; helpless 15. frequently look for easy places to rest 16. don’t like to be sheered, cleaned 17. too much wool can cause sheep to be easily “cast” 18. creatures of habit; get into “ruts” 19. need the most care of all livestock 20. need to be “on the move”;need a pre-determined plan, pattern of grazing 21. totally dependent of shepherd for every need 22. need “rod and staff” guidance.

Wow!  That is quite a list.  Read through it again and see if any of those characteristics can apply to you.  I have to admit, I see myself in quite a few of those descriptions.  These are ALL the reasons why WE NEED A SHEPHERD!!

Sheep are simpleminded and totally dependent upon the shepherd who tends to them with care and compassion.  Shepherds are the providers, guides, protectors and constant companions of sheep.  

Sheep respond immediately to the care of their shepherd – and only their shepherd.  Jesus said, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  After he has gathered his own flock, he was ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:3-4 NLT).

The sheep have a security and direction because they know their shepherd and respond to his commands.

We have so many similarities to sheep.  There are so many things in this world that can trip us up.  But we have a shepherd who we can turn to and will guide us.  Do you know Your shepherd?  Do you seek His voice daily?  Thank you God for directing our lives!

*If you are fascinated with sheep like I am, check out Ray Carmen on Facebook.  He has a page called Enjoy the Shepherd and he has short daily devotions pertaining to his sheep.  I enjoy them!

Our shepherd is Jesus and He is leading the way.