*** Jesus, the Good Shepherd ***
Our family used to live near a field full of some very interesting creatures. I cannot tell you for sure whether they were sheep or goats. They had very long, whitish hair that reached from their backs almost to the ground.
The creatures loved to wander around in their field and enjoy the nice grass, but every so often one of them would get what he thought was a great idea for an extra-special treat: he would try the grass on the other side of the fence!
So every so often, we would be driving down the road by our home and guess who we would see with their little head stuck through a square of the wire fencing? That’s right–one of those little creatures!
Sometimes he would be standing there, head on one side of the fence and body on the other side of the fence, happily munching away at his treasure.
Other times, though, he was not so happy about his head being on a different side of the fence from his body. He would finish up his snack, and start to back away from the fence. A little further and his head should be back on the right side of the fence, back with his body again…
…but, oops! It did not work! He backed up, but his head got caught! His horns had slid so smoothly into the fence. Getting out was a different story, though. Now those same horns were acting like giant hooks–and those giant hooks were attached to the poor creature’s head.
He would tug and tug a while, but it did not do any good. He was just plain stuck.
Poor guy. Do you think he will be there forever?
No. The little guy was not exactly smart. He made a pretty bad choice and got himself in a real mess, but his owners still loved him.
Pretty soon, one of them would come out of their house and see that he was stuck…again. They would carefully work him out of his mess, and he would be free to run on his own side of the fence again–head and all.
Do we ever make choices that are not good? Yes, sadly we do. When we do, we get ourselves in hard places, too. We may not be stuck in a wire fence, but we get stuck in sin.
Sometimes we feel like we have to lie, or be grumpy, or ignore our moms and dads. Maybe for a minute it actually sounds like a good idea–Satan does his best to trick us that way, you know. Before long, though, we see that we are making bad choices and we do not know how to stop.
Can we save ourselves?
No, but just like the little creatures have a loving owner who cares for them, we have Someone who loves us and can save us. Do you know who it is? Yes, Jesus!
Jesus even told us that He is the Good Shepherd. A shepherd is someone who takes special care of their sheep. Who do you think we would be like, then? The sheep, right?
Our Shepherd, Jesus, will never lead us into dangerous places, like through wire fences–or into sin. If we make a bad choice and go there on our own, though, He will lovingly help us out.
Our job is to choose Him. He will help us not to sin. That means we are following Him!
Here is a special verse about the Good Shepherd. This is something that Jesus said in the Bible:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life….” John 10:27,28
You can find the story of the Good Shepherd by reading John chapter 10 in your Bible. Start in verse 1 and go as far as you would like. Most of the chapter is Jesus talking about being the Good Shepherd who loves us, His sheep. 🙂