Most city dwellers will not be familiar with sheep and their shepherding, nor what a sheepfold is, but we all can read about God’s love for His sheep [His children] in John chapter 10. Of course at the time Jesus was teaching this lesson in Jerusalem to the Jewish religious leaders, everyone was familiar with shepherding. Verses 14 & 15: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” (NIV) The arrogant religious leaders wanted to be the way, for the people to follow them. Surely, they didn’t think much of Jesus’ presentation. So, they wanted to kill Him…small problem…they were not in control, for Jesus had a mission, He was in control; a mission to save His sheep by laying down His own life by His own accord, no one took it from Him.
So, who are the sheep of His pasture? Well, at the time Jesus was addressing these religious leaders; the sheep were the Jews. We need to keep reading however, verse 16: “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (NIV) The other sheep are all those who hear the voice of Jesus Christ and follow Him. There will be only one flock under the care and love of the Good Shepherd.
Like millions, I wear glasses to help me see. We talk about being near-sighted or far-sighted; and if you are like me, some are both and have to wear bi-focals. Often those near-sighted people have trouble seeing clearly the scenes far away. Well, it appears we have a great many people who cannot see the big picture. They have no room for miracles, for the supernatural, for “a being” able to walk through walls and on water. How sad to be so grounded, so near-sighted. A great example of people, in this case, the religious leaders, missing the miraculous before them and only focused on their own arrogantly created rules is the text found in John 5:5-10:
5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
All the religious leaders could react to was a man going against their earthly rules about work on the Sabbath. What about the miracle before their very eyes? An invalid for 38 years, known by all, for he was in a public space, is healed! Are you open to see God’s work? Have you the eyes to see? Have you room in your mind and heart to be open to the real daily miracles right before you?