“What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains, and go and search for the one that is lost? And if it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven for one of these little ones to perish.

Matthew 18:12-14

Sheep are dumb. I’m not being mean, just trying to be accurate. Sheep are terrible at acting in their own best interest. They need shepherds and sheepdogs and fences to keep them from wandering off and getting hurt. Years of domestication have bred all good sense out of these animals.

It is striking then that Jesus often referred to people as sheep. We can be persuaded to go with the crowd quite easily and, left to our own devices, we can find ourselves upside-down in a ditch.

Praise God that He is a good shepherd, who is willing to lead us to safe pasture and to protect us from danger.

Moreover, since we see this tendency in ourselves, it is important to be aware of it in others as well; when we see one from outside the flock saved from danger, we can rejoice along with our Shepherd, knowing we were once in the same situation.

Ethan Kirl

Originally Published April 19, 2021