The Sheep Story
Jesus knew more than us when he used sheep to illustrate humans. Here's what the Australian farmers know about their sheep.
Introduction: Sheep are herd animals and need supervision. Unlike goats, horses, kangaroos, dogs, cats, who can survive alone; Not like cows that can put out to pasture; Not like fish who swim around unnoticed. Sheep perish without supervision. They need to be managed.
1. Because they are untrainable.
They never learn from mistakes.
They repeat the same dumb things.
Intelligent animals learn from pain and training.
They go astray and get everyone into trouble.
They can't find water or feed to survive.
Until they are old they stray from the flock or the mob.
2. On their backs they cannot right themselves.
Kicking and bleating doesn't help.
Isolated from the flock and left to perish.
Other sheep can't help them get up.
Herdsmen keeps them on their feet.
3. They are not a burden bearing animal.
Never see a sheep hitched to a wagon.
A heavy load would break it's back.
They can't provide for themselves.
They don't consider their survival needs.
They don't plan for their future.
4. They must be shorn at the right time in the right season.
Winter protection wool must be removed in summer.
Briars, grass, dirt, mud must be cleaned away.
Sheep can't shear each other.
Their wool is valuable to mankind.
They rely utterly upon the skill of the shearer.
During shearing, they rest in his arms.
When not shorn, they can die early.
Every one get shorn if he lives long enough.
Shearing prepares it for the next season.
We all need to be shorn often.
5. They are defenseless.
Their bite is harmless. Most have no horns.
Unable to defend themselves against attacks.
Dingoes/wolves only attack the lambs.
Need to protect the lambs
Herdsmen's rod wards off attacks.
The world, the flesh, the enemies.
6. They need the herdsman's daily touch.
Sheep answer his call, rub against his leg, wait for a pat.
Personal attention is better than food.
Satisfied sheep eat drink and get fat.
Fulfill their purpose.
Only answer to the herdsman's call, except when sick.
7. God compares sheep to people.
People need to be cared for and supervised.
Else they eventually get into trouble.
David knew sheep need supervision, just like people.
Jesus said, "I am the door to the sheepfold...."
Note: In the Old Testement, the sheep died for the shepherd, but in the New Testement, the shepherd died for the sheep. That's why Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
Illustration: The day before her wedding in 1947, Princess Elizabeth specially asked that "The Lord is My Shepherd" be used in her wedding ceremony. The one to be the Queen of England indicated that she felt like one of the sheep, and she asked the Great Shepherd to guide her.