Then a few moments later a man in a simple shirt and blue jeans appeared. He had his hands in his pockets, he didn't make any noises, he just stood there at the gate and all of the sheep instantly looked up at him and began to bleat and baa in his direction as if they were talking to him. They all just stood there staring at him as if they were waiting for him to make a move and talk back. It was then I realized this man was their shepherd. They definitely recognized him and as he walked down the slight hill, they followed him. They knew him. They ignored me because I was a stranger, but they sought after their shepherd...because he was their leader...their protector...their caretaker.
photo I took of the sheep and their shepherd
I thought about this situation and how it relates to my relationship with my Saviour. There have been a lot of negative comparisons to Christians being like "sheep who follow blindly" but those sheep today didn't blindly follow their shepherd. He had gained their trust by proving himself to be a reliable caretaker, a devoted leader, and a true protector. Just as my Saviour has time and time again proven Himself worthy of my praise and pursuit. I do not follow blindly, I follow because I have experienced His goodness and faithfulness enough times to know that He will always lead me in the right direction.
I didn't always follow Jesus though...there was a time in my life where I ignored Him like He was a stranger. Just like those sheep had ignored me. But He never gave up on me, He continued to chase after me. Just like the lost lamb in Luke Chapter 15....
Then Jesus told them this parable:“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
I want you to know today that Jesus is pursuing you right now, today. He wants to bring you home with Him and rejoice over you in Heaven. YOU matter GREATLY to Him. This story from Jesus' own lips reveals that your salvation brings Him divine joy. Having you as part of the heavenly family is something to rejoice about indeed! It's impossible to find our way home without Him. In John 14:6 Jesus tells “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." We are all in need of a Saviour (Isaiah 53:6) and Jesus Christ provided the way to Him. All we have to do is follow.