Baa, Baa, Baa, Baa

Brad Lauster



My how time flies when you are having fun!  This summer my wife Karen and I have been having a lot of it too.  While part of our summer was spent painting a deck and placing 5 ton of river rock on a hillside (I’ll never look at a hillside decorated with river rock the same way again!),  we also spent a week with our now 7 and 3-year-old grandsons.  We had an absolutely wonderful time! 

One of the highlights of the week was going to a working sheep farm just outside Scenery Hill.  The farm is operated by Lisa and her father George Wherry.   It’s a huge farm and, while we were only able to see 75-100 of the more than 600 sheep on the farm, we came away with memories we will cherish forever. 
We also came away with a greater appreciation for what it means to have Jesus as our shepherd.  When we were there I was especially impacted by the way in which the sheep responded to Lisa’s voice.  The same thing is true for us.  Jesus said about us as His sheep, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
Another thing on the farm that left an impact was the way in which Lisa was able to tell me something about each of the sheep. She referred to several of them by name.  As our shepherd, Jesus knows us by name too. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep …” (John 10:14)  As our shepherd Jesus knows our name! 
As our shepherd, Jesus also cares about each of us as if there were only one of us. Good shepherds do that too!  As our shepherd, Jesus knows our personalities.  He knows our needs, and when we are hurting, Jesus cares.  In fact, as our shepherd, the Bible says Jesus cared enough to lay down his life for us. Here’s how Jesus said it: “… I lay down my life for my sheep … The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life … No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (John 10:17-18)
Later in John’s gospel, pointing to what would become His death on the cross in a matter of hours, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 14:13)
Read what Jesus said again.  Good shepherds love their sheep!  Because they love them they also do whatever it takes to rescue them.  It’s why Jesus came. 

Jesus came to rescue us.  It’s why the cross. It’s why he laid down his life. There was a price that needed to be paid and someone had to pay it.  As our shepherd, Jesus did that for us.  It’s why we can trust Him and why we can follow Him when we hear His voice and He calls us by name. 

It’s also why we can rest secure knowing Jesus is not only a “good” shepherd, but also a “faithful” shepherd, faithful to keep His promises, including this one:
“I give them (my sheep) eternal life; and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”  (John 10:28)
I’ll close where I began.  Karen and I have had a great summer.  It’s also been one that I now find closing with a song that plays over and over again in both my mind and in my heart.  You may know it.  If you don’t, please take a moment to learn it.  It’s an easy song to sing.  Be aware though, once it sing it, chances are you will sing it again and again and again in your own mind and heart, including when you wake up and when you lay down.  The song is entitled “I Just Wanna Be a Sheep”.  Here’s the chorus:
I just wanna be a sheep
Baa, baa, baa, baa
I just wanna be a sheep
Baa, baa, baa, baa
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
I just wanna be a sheep
Baa, baa, baa, baa
You can find the full lyrics complete with music and video on-line.  Just type in “I Just Wanna Be a Sheep!” This version was created for a Sunday School class and posted by JD Pruitt on YouTube.



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