Friday, April 24, 2015
Some Christians do not like being compared to sheep, most likely because they are generally considered as being timid, defenseless, and not very bright. Nevertheless, we can not ignore the fact that it was Jesus Himself, the Good Shepherd, who referred to His followers as such. On the other hand, sheep have good character traits most Christians can appreciate and I will venture to say that God’s genuine children not only like the comparison, they embrace it.
For starters, lets consider just a partial depiction of them in the following verses in the 10th Chapter of John and afterwards I’ll try to apply the comparisons: In verse 3, He (The Good Shepherd) said they hear His voice, He calls each one of them by name, and leads them out. In verse 4, He said He goes before them, they follow Him and know His voice. In verse 5, He said they will not follow but flee from strangers because they only recognize their Master’s voice. There is enough in these three verses to get a good picture of the sheep-Shepherd relationship but keep in mind that it refers only to the true members of His flock.
Here are the comparisons: (1) True followers of Christ are always close enough to Him to hear His voice and are quick to respond to it. (2) They are fully aware and take much comfort in the fact that their Master knows them personally. Although verse 3 did not mention it directly, it is apparent to all of God’s genuine children that He also knows their voice and instantly responds when they cry out to Him. David wrote: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry.” (Ps. 34:15) (3) They follow Him. Anybody who professes to be a follower of Christ but repeatedly does his own thing should not claim to be one of His. (4) Genuine followers of Christ will not be easily deceived when strange voices call out to them. In fact, they will quickly distance themselves from impostors. Just like bank tellers can quickly spot a counterfeit bill because they handle the authentic ones on a daily basis, God’s true children are so accustomed to His voice that they will not respond to the false ones.
How do you stack up? Are you fully familiar with God’s voice? Do you rejoice because He knows you and calls you by name? Are you ever attentive to the Good Shepherd’s voice and ready to respond when He calls you. If you are, then you can really say that you are a member of His flock, and are probably very comfortable with the “sheepish” comparison.
Memory verse for the week: (Proverbs 22:4) “By humility and the fear of the Lord come riches, honor, and life.”
Note: I am grateful for the illustration we heard last Wednesday in church about the sheep-Shepherd relationship which inspired me to further add to it. Also, if you did not receive the blog yesterday it is because I never got a "round tuit."