Day 33 John 10:1-15

Why would Jesus liken us to a bunch of dumb sheep?  Not very flattering?  I looked up a few things about sheep and something I suspected was confirmed.  Sheep have no natural defenses.  Now, of course, we have many physical defenses – unlike sheep – but do we, in of ourselves, have a defense against evil? No, our defense comes from God and the trust we place in him – the good shepherd – the one who comes in through the gate because he is our creator, our savior, the one willing to lay his life down for us.  Unlike the thief or hired-hand who would destroy or not put up a fight for us. Or false teachers who only seek to elevate themselves or false teachings that leave you defenseless by leading you to believe in your own goodness.

Another fact about sheep: they will learn their names and come when you call them.  Jesus was very literal when he said, “He calls his own sheep by name” and “the sheep follow him because they know his voice.”  How comforting that is! I’ve been called many things in my lifetime, and some of them were so hurtful, negative, discouraging or even untruthful.  But God always calls me by my true names – Child of God, Daughter, Beloved – that prove he knows who I am and claims me.

One more fact about sheep:  They do not like to be chased! I read this and immediately thought of verse 3, “he leads them out” and verse 4, “he goes before them.”  Whatever road God is calling you to, be assured that he goes before you, making a way, checking the path, preparing the road ahead of you. I was struck by the words in that say “go in and out and find pasture.”  The Shepherd knows when to take His sheep out of the fold, when to bring them back in the protection of the fold and let them rest, and where to lead them to pastures that give them the sustenance they need.

Sheep not looking so dumb now, are they?

 Question:

Do you ever approach a problem, a task or a new situation without first praying about it? Let the Shepherd be your defense.

Do you ever let yourself be “chased” by fears and therefore (be “scattered”) seek the easiest or quickest solution?

Prayer:

Thank you, Father, for your protection and interest in me,

that you know me so well.

Help me to listen and know your voice,

Above the voices of so many in this world,

That I can be led to where you want me to go.

Take away my fears that would – like wolves –

Snatch at me or chase me from your path.