I apologize if you’re an animal lover. I must be brutally honest: sheep are stupid. You will come to the same conclusion if you observe a sheep for any length of time. Sheep are constantly making the same mistakes: getting stuck in the same bush and the same ditch, no matter how many times their shepherd saves them from danger. They don’t listen to instruction.
Jesus calls us sheep. Are you encouraged? Read on. Jesus uses this truth to point you to the most encouraging reality in the universe!
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. – Luke 15:1-7
We’re just like sheep. We constantly wander away from Jesus. He intercedes for us before the Father, we’re afraid to mention Him in public. We constantly ignore His warnings and stiff-arm His guidance. Even though we keep making the same mistakes over and over and over, Jesus keeps going after us over and over and over. If we’re in Christ, we will worship Him in Spirit and in truth. That means we will abide in Him; He will have us back!
Jesus knows we’ll make mistakes. He knows we’ll keep wandering aimlessly into the same ditches. We’re weak! We’re easily persuaded by the world. That’s why He came. No matter how “dumb” we are, He will love us back to Himself every time. Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” John 4:23
If you are a believer, you are a true worshipper. God is after you, even in your sin. Don’t let yourself despair in the face of your depravity. Instead, surrender to Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd, who follows you with steadfast love and mercy all the days of your life (Psalm 23:6). Isn’t that the most encouraging reality to consider, that one day, we will all worship Him in Spirit and in truth?
I’m so glad Jesus called us sheep. It makes His saving grace so much sweeter!