Monday, 23rd April, 2018
Reference text: John 10:1-10
John 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
I had the opportunity to see herds of sheep being taken out to graze and unless I saw wrong, on many occasions, the sheep were not being led, they were rather being followed. Therefore, it became their responsibility to choose whatever path they desired to tread and to move towards whatever greenery seemed pleasing to their eyes. The shepherd only seemed to step in only when there was a wrong turn.
This has been the image of a shepherd that I have seen so many times in reality that often, I am tempted to ask why the image presented by scripture isn’t followed. Every shepherd-related text in the word of God appears to have this phrase ‘to lead out’, and that is the one thing we do not see enough of. As a consequence, the sheep going before the shepherd into places they want, has reduced the role of shepherds to nothing short of a rescue squad.
Though it may appear irrelevant, it is a really big deal if the sheep lead the shepherd and not the other way round. However, in our current world, no one wants to be referred to as ‘lagging behind’ because they are waiting to be led. Therefore, we tend to be more independent people of initiative who opt to take the lead and be applauded for it. Yet, today, Jesus invites us to also learn the art of following because as our shepherd, He knows where best to lead us.
As the chief shepherd, He wouldn’t want us to go off all by ourselves only to call out to Him when we find ourselves in trouble. His sheep hear his voice, he calls out to them and He ‘leads them out’. That is what God wants to do with us, so my dear, don’t rush to get ahead of your shepherd because He knows the path ahead a lot better than you do.
Remember # a shepherd is not a guide from behind you, but one who goes ahead of you.