We were traveling in Tibet when we met a shepherd. “I have 150 sheep,” he told us cheerfully. “Do they ever get lost?” we asked. “Yes,” he said, “but I search for them. They’re very valuable. We don’t want to lose even one.” We asked, “Who owns them?” His answer was telling. “They belong to ten families in our village, and today is my family’s turn to look after them.”
Later we met another shepherd with a much larger flock of almost 1,000 sheep. Did he look for them when they got lost? He shook his head. “No, it would take too much time.” Then we asked what happened to the lost sheep. “I think they get eaten by animals.” Whose sheep were they? His answer was revealing, “They belong to a rich man from the next village.”
They were modern-day examples of Jesus’ teaching. The good shepherd cares deeply for his sheep, laying down his life to protect them. The hired hand — we called him the “bad shepherd” — cares only for himself.
If Jesus is your shepherd, he will never leave you alone. He never abandons his own. He gave his life so that they might live. He is truly the “good shepherd.”
It’s an important choice. Will you one day find that your shepherd has run away? Or have you trusted your life to the one who cares deeply enough to sacrifice his own life for you?
Lord, you know how to shepherd me, and I can trust you will always have my best interest at heart. Thank you for caring for me and my needs, and not leading me into danger. Let me never stray from your sight. Amen.
Go Deeper — What shepherd are you following? There are many influences out there that do not have your best interests at heart.
Photo Credit: Patrick Schneider