Understanding God’s Wool!

Blog entry by Stan Kellner – www.stankellner.com.

(Read John 10:1-15)

How sheepish of me to take a sheep shot regarding the title of this devotional.  Okay, I’ll stop.

Seriously, sheep are interesting animals.  Cute as all get out.  On many, many occasions throughout our Israel excursions we would see sheep hanging out, feeding, following their shepherd, resting in the middle of a meadow, etc.  Their wool can grow so thick that it’s hard to tell, when you’re petting them, where the wool ends and their skin begins.

Curious that God would use the sheep metaphor so often in the Bible to illustrate our journey with Jesus, our Great Shepherd.  According to Phillip Keller (a shepherd for many years) in his marvelous book, “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23”, sheep tend to be rather helpless, somewhat  dumb or simple-minded, prone to wander, often times top-heavy, easily disoriented when leaving the flock and, at times, totally defenseless against the predators of the night.

Wow.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I just described the core discussion of most psychologist or psychiatrist counseling appointments.  Oops.  I hope I didn’t step on anyone’s toes.  But think about it. 

It is SO easy for us to depend on ourselves, make our way in the world, man-up or woman-up, be the captain of our fate, go where no man has gone before.  Okay, now I’m getting carried away.

The point?  Look again at the description of a sheep then look in the mirror.  Yes, I’ll look in the mirror too!  All of us have those tendencies and boy, when we allow them full control, do we get in trouble!

Maybe, just maybe, the gentle Shepherd is trying to say to us – “Okay, so you can be rather simple-minded, go your own way, be stubborn, resist my love or my guidance.  But, you know what?  I still love you.  Yes, I STILL love YOU.  I didn’t die in spite of you.  I died because I made you and knew the trouble you were in and I knew you needed me to rescue you and love you and grow you into maturity. 

Have you heard the Good Shepherd speaking to you in this devotional?

  • Linger over the words in John 10:1-5.  Jesus loves you and wants to be your Shepherd.  His way is much better. 
  • While you’re at it, it may not hurt to meditate on Psalm 23 as well.
  • Take a good look at your life and ask our gentle Shepherd to show you how to hear His voice more clearly.
  • As you hear His voice more clearly, ask Him to help you love Him more deeply and obey Him more readily.

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