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Not My Sheep

Not My Sheep
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Have you seen the film, “Babe?” A juvenile pig, Babe struggled to understand the farmer, but he could communicate with the other farm animals at the Hoggett Farm. Yet, he was wary of the male sheep dog and the cat seemed to be evil. The story required Babe to find a way to lead Farmer Hoggett’s herd of sheep during a broadcast public competition. While the other competitors brought their experienced sheep dogs to control their sheep, Hoggett brought his pig to do that. The sheep would not listen to Babe. They were not “his” sheep. Something more was needed or they would not trust and obey Babe’s commands to them.

Web search John 10: 25-30. “You do not believe because you are not my sheep.” This was Jesus’ parable that compares the Hebrew people to domesticated sheep. Jesus explained that he had come as a shepherd to gather the sheep that belonged to God. The sheep who knew God, flocked to Jesus, because they recognized God (Jesus, as one of God in three persons). Sheep are clannish animals; they do not associate with sheep of another herd, and they will not trust and obey a shepherd who is unknown to them. It seems that a herd of sheep chooses their shepherd, more than the shepherd chooses them. Read John 10: 1-42 to gain context on why Jesus uses the relationship of a herd of sheep and a shepherd to explain why he ministers to the Hebrew people.

Jesus at his age of thirty-three, completed his ministry by being a sacrifice (He was crucified). He did not remain in death. Three days later, Jesus defeated death when he resurrected by his own power. He showed himself to his surviving disciples and some others (web search), before he returned to the right side of God with absolute power over humanity, as God gave to him. His age at his physical death serves as a marker of time. The Latin phrase “Anno Domini,” (abbreviated as AD), marks the year of his crucifixion as year #1 in “The Year of the Lord.” Jesus’ Disciple, John, described his time with Jesus in the Book of John around 70 AD.

In John 10, John repeated Jesus’ parable of the Hebrew people being as sheep and he as a shepherd sent by God to bring home the sheep that “were his.” Jesus was inside the Temple of Jerusalem when he said this to a mob of Hebrews who confronted him. In John 10:25-30, Jesus told them that their disbelief revealed them to not be God’s sheep, a powerful rebuke that incited some of them to attempt to stone (murder) Jesus there in the temple!

Most people today, do not have the experience of raising livestock in a herd (like sheep), and they may incorrectly believe that Jesus refers to all humans as dumb animals (sheep) that require guidance. You have to study the meaning of his words. He said that God’s sheep will know his (their shepherd’s) voice, and that they will listen, believe, and obey (him), that “they cannot be snatched away.”

It means that you should look within yourself. If you do not want to hear Jesus’ gospel said to you, you do not want to read what he said in the Christian Bible, and if you sit back and ponder your decision about believing that he is the Christ sent by God to make the path to your salvation, then you are not one of God’s sheep. That is a scary thing don’t you think? In his parable, he said that the sheep (that he will save) hear and know the voice of their shepherd. They are all in on believing him, and they trust and obey his guidance. If this does not happen for you, how can you be saved? Web search John 14:6.

To understand Jesus, read verses in the New Testament of the Christian Bible, most of which were written by John and other Disciples of Jesus, who witnessed and wrote what Jesus said. Change your life by practicing Jesus’ commands that you read, then up your game by collaborating with someone else who also seeks to change his or her life. Web search Matthew 18:20. Jesus promised to help you get past not being one of God’s sheep. Both you and your friend will be treated as lost sheep who need safety, warmth, and affiliation with his flock. For you and your friend, his voice (guidance and grace) will become familiar, like family, calling you to come home.