A sermon preached by Dr. Brent Beasley on April 21, 2018 at Rising Star Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.
Now when we hear about sheep and shepherds, some of us naturally tend to identify more with the shepherd. Sheep are supposedly dumb and fearful animals, after all. I would rather identify with the shepherd, myself.
When you stop and think about it, no one likes to be referred to as sheep. That’s an insult.
To follow the crowd without question?
To have no mind of your own?
To expect someone else to take care of you?
Nobody likes to be called “sheep.”
We want to be leaders. We want to be the ones taking care of things I want to be the shepherd.
I think many of you probably see yourselves more as
caring for your flock,
protecting your flock,
leaders not followers,
care-givers not care-receivers.
So when we read this passage, the temptation is to associate ourselves with the shepherd and not with the sheep. So we try to figure out where we fit in. Am I a good shepherd? Am I better than a hired hand?
I’ll tell you about me. The truth is, most of my life I have believed that I could handle just about anything, that I could make just about anything work out like I wanted it to. But I have come up against situations that I can’t control. I’ve experienced some failure. And what I’ve got to finally come to see that it is
not that I am the shepherd—good, bad, or
that I am one of God’s sheep, part of the
flock, in need of a good shepherd.
I don’t have to always be the shepherd, which is good news, because I am honestly not capable of it. Christ has been shepherd to me. It’s a stunning thing—it almost brings tears to my eyes just to say it. Christ has been shepherd to me.
The crucified one has been shepherd to me, to you.
The one despised and rejected has been shepherd to me, to you.
To make the move from the care-giver to the care-receiver– we all have to do that.
Sometimes we just need Jesus to come along and give us strength in our weakness, to bind up our wounds, to take care of us.