Monday, July 29, 2013

248. Dumb Sheep

Ever wondered why we are likened to a sheep in the Bible? If one is to think very negatively, it’s actually “insulting”. But Biblically, it overlaid that fact and signified overflowing compassion and love abundance.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

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.

That one sheep in the parable signifies us, who once were lost. But why are we likened to a sheep? It could have been a lost dog or a lost horse, or any other animal, or maybe a beautiful tiger? A lost fish maybe and be likened to finding Nemo? But comparison is to a sheep! A sheep of all the animals is the dumbest! I was compared to a dumb animal?? It may appear meek but the truth is it does not have an intelligent thinking of its own. This is one reason that we see a dog, a horse, a lion in circus presentations, but never a sheep. It is one dumb animal. You put it in a flock and it just goes along. If it gets lost, it won’t even know that it’s already lost. It has no sense of direction. It doesn't even have the fittest defense mechanism except for its thick wool. This sheep is each one of us. We arrive into this world, lost and dumbfounded. As humans we are not even aware that we are lost! And obviously since we are likened to a sheep, we are not the ones who “find God”. It is God who found us, the love of God – likened to the role of a good shepherd. We are likened to a sheep to portray the love of God wonderfully.

I was actually unreservedly amazed the first time I realized this, I was a lost sheep found by my loving shepherd. I could have wandered endlessly, without any sense of direction, but the love of God found me. The parable reveals the great job of the good shepherd; and that upon finding his lost sheep he joyfully puts it on his shoulder. You see, a sheep can’t even follow its owner, that’s why the shepherd needs to put it on his shoulders. In TAGALOG, BINUHAT NIYA AKO. He didn't just let me walk behind him as I might just go astray when I have just been found moments ago. So now we understand, that maybe if it was compared to a dog, the owner of the dog need not really carry the dog. It couldn't have been portrayed any better than a shepherd and his sheep. And wow, JOYFULLY. Sa tigas ng ulo at kabobohan ko, I went astray, He found me, and instead of scolding me, he JOYFULLY lifted and carried me, and even rejoiced that He found the lost me. Each time, a lost soul is found, the heaven rejoices, our shepherd is more than happy! That’s God’s love.

And the best thing about being a dumb sheep is shown in one chapter in the book of Psalms. Psalm 23 is a wonderful chapter of the contentment we find in His love.

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

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