Good Shepherd – dumb sheep ∙

Good Shepherd – dumb sheep ∙

As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day.

 – Ezekiel 34:12

Isaiah 40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

 11 For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search and find my sheep.

 12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day.

 13 I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live.

 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills.

 15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign LORD.

 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. . . .

The Scriptures often compare people to sheep. Sheep are in drastic need of a shepherd. For centuries, sheep have been considered dumb, if not just plain stupid. But a paradigm shift is underway regarding the intelligence of sheep.

Due to their strong flocking instinct and failure to act independently of one another, sheep have been universally branded “stupid.” But sheep are not stupid. Their only protection from predators is to band together and follow the sheep in front of them.

There is a growing body of evidence that sheep may be more intelligent than previously thought.

According to researchers in Australia, sheep can learn and remember. To measure intelligence and learning capabilities, researchers have developed a complex maze test. It is similar to those used for rats and mice. Using the maze, researchers concluded that sheep have excellent spatial memory and can learn and improve their performance. And they can retain this information acquired for six weeks.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge, while researching Huntington’s disease, they became more aware of the intelligence of sheep. They discovered that sheep have the brainpower to equal rodents, monkeys, and in some tests, humans.

The scientists put sheep through many challenges often given to humans who have Huntington’s. The sheep showed that they had advanced learning capabilities, as they could navigate the challenges in the same way as humans and primates (http://www.sheep101.info.

Sheep need a shepherd who lovingly cares for them. The prophet Ezekiel condemned the leaders of Judah in his day as bad shepherds. They exploited them and failed to cherish and protect them.

But promises were made about a good and wonderful shepherd who would come in the future to protect them. God Himself promised that He would be their shepherd and protect and rescue them.

Ezekiel 34:12 I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy, dark day.

Isaiah 40:11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart.

Promise made!

REFLECT & PRAY

The Father is greater than anything on earth (Isaiah 40:12-20) or anything in heaven (Isaiah 40:21-26). Creation shows His wisdom, power, and immensity. He is greater than the nations and their gods. He founded the earth and sits on the throne of heaven, and nothing is equal to our God, let alone greater than our God (Wiersbe).

Father thank You that You are a great loving and caring shepherd. Thank You that You sent the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, to sacrifice His life so that we might have eternal life and experience the tenderhearted, loving care of a Shepherd forever.

INSIGHT

Promise fulfilled!

John 10:11-15

 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.

 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

 14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,

 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.

But there’s more.

John 10:27-29

 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Who gave the Lord Jesus Christ the sheep that will belong to Him forever? Before the world existed, the Father selected and gave the Lord Jesus Christ His sheep. The Father chose them from among all the people who would ever be born.

The Greek language has several past tenses. One of them is called the perfect tense. The perfect tense describes an action that occurs in the past at a single point in time with continuing results into the future.

My Father, who has given them to me (John 10:29). The Greek verb translated as given is dedoken, which comes from the Greek verb to give, didomi. Here the Greek verb dedoken has the sense that the Father has given sheep to the Lord Jesus Christ at some point in the past, and they continue to be His sheep into the future.

Every child of the King belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ because the Father has given us to Him.

Before the sheep hear and respond to their Shepherd’s voice, the Lord Jesus Christ states they are already “My sheep.”

Stop and think about it for a minute. Children of the King are His sheep before He calls them. Because they are His sheep, when they hear His voice, they come and follow Him. Their identity as His sheep is actualized in the time-space continuum. At that very moment in time, the Lord Jesus Christ gives each of His sheep eternal life. Eternal life lasts forever. It begins at the moment of faith. Every child of the King has eternal life right now. They do not have to wait for death.

But there’s even more. Because the Father is greater than all, no one can snatch one sheep out of His hand. Each of His sheep is safe. He cares for His sheep. He feeds and carries His sheep in His arms. He holds them close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11).

The Lord Jesus Christ promised three things.

(1) He promised eternal life. He promised that if they accepted Him as Master and Lord if they became members of His flock, all the littleness of earthly life would be gone, and they would know the splendor and the magnificence of the life of God.

(2) He promised a life that would know no end.

(3) He promised a secure life. Nothing could snatch them from His hand. This would not mean that they would be saved from sorrow, suffering, and death; but [in] . . . the darkest hour, they would still be conscious of the everlasting arms underneath and about them. Even in a world crashing to disaster, they would know the serenity of God (Barclay).

¯\_()_/¯ 4-09-2

© Dr. H 2022

2 thoughts on “Good Shepherd – dumb sheep ∙

  1. What a delightful miracle of grace that our Good Shepherd gave more, and then even more on top of that!
    And that His marvelous gifts continue on from the past into the future forever!
    A “perfect tense” indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The words which the Lord Jesus Christ speaks are so wonderful and reassuring. The results continue into the future forever!

    John 6:37-40
    37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.
    39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.
    40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

    Like

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