Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Luke 10:3
This is a phrase that is used a few times in the New Testament. Sending us out as lambs. I wanted to look and see what it is about lambs and why it is that Jesus would call us lambs. Now obviously it goes back to the whole shepherd thing but why?
Well, everywhere I looked came up with pretty much the same ideas so here are a few of the many things said. First of all, sheep don’t carry burdens. You will never see a picture of a sheep carry anything. They are designed to just be themselves and let the shepherd make sure that they have everything.
Sheep have no means of fighting. They don’t have claws, or fists, they don’t have sharp teeth. They haven’t got hard crowns on their heads to butt others with. They are dependent on the shepherd to fight their battles. He keeps them safe, but if they are attacked, he is the one to defend them.
Sheep follow the shepherd. They know their shepherds voice and they follow. They trust him because just as he has led them in the past their expectation is that he will lead them in the future. Sheep work best in flocks. They don’t wander off, unless they get lost. They are found in pairs or as a flock because they work together, comfort and security in numbers.
They are absolutely content when they are grazing. Sheep will happily spend a long time just grazing together under the watchful eye of the shepherd. They don’t have to do anything else. The height of satisfaction is being led, being fed, being looked after and being together.
When Jesus said that we are like sheep this is how He was asking us to be. Totally dependent upon Him. He would lead through the power of the Holy Spirit, He would feed through His Word and through prayer. We can be in fellowship in our small groups and main congregational gatherings.
The difference between the sheep and the wolves n this instance and the goats in other instants is markedly different. They will pack together but they prefer to be individuals. They don’t like being led. They are not passive but seek to take control going where they should not. They have independent wills. They will get aggressive.
Oh, the expectation of Jesus for His followers. He wants us to simply relax into Him. He is saying, “I have it all worked out.” The sheep don’t try to second guess the shepherd. If they do that is where they go astray. When they stop listening to His voice, and just follow off on their own. But even then, He says that He will come and get us, pick us up and carry us pack t the flock.
Even though the wolves seem scary and overpowering Jesus says “I am sending you.” He is not sending us anywhere that He is not coming too. As He appointed the seventy He appointed them and anointed them with His Spirit. So too today. We are called to go, and by His Spirit in us He comes too.
We don’t have to be clever, try got work out what to say and do. We don’t have to work out where to go. We haven’t got to be ‘super Christians’ with all the right answers. We don’t have to be great speakers, brimming with intelligence and reason. We just have to be followers.
We have to decide to believe in the shepherd. We have to decide that He has the words to say, the plan to follow, the tools for the job, our interests at heart and the interests of those that we meet. We have to have faith. With faith the size of a mustard seed we can do anything and everything.
And finally another way to look at this. In John 17 Jesus prays to the Father, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” Well, God sent Jesus as the Lamb, the sacrifice, the offering, the One, whose obedience unto death would lead the nations back into right relationship with Father.
How about us. If Jesus has sent us into the world as Father sent Him, what does that look like? Are we to be obedient? Are we to sacrifice our desires, so that others can see the greatness of God in us? Are we to offer up our lives, our carnal desires and emotions so that the heart and love of Father is seen in us? Are we to help lead others back to the open arms of Father?
Yes, yes, yes and yes. You know it and I know it. So the only real question today is, how are we going to do it? How are we going to live as God’s sheep and are we willing to follow Him with every ounce of our being? Answer that one and let me know what you come up with!!
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