Of Men and Sheep

By Raymond E. Harris

A few years ago, I heard a man who had considerable knowledge of sheep reflect on the similarities between mankind and sheep.

He noted that in John 10, Jesus likened Himself to “the good shepherd” and to mankind as sheep who might or might not become the Lord’s sheep.

His description of sheep was not very complimentary.

First he pointed out that when compared to other animals, sheep were rather stupid. He noted that sheep can scarcely be trained at all. They cannot be driven, but have to be lead. And he further suggested that a sheep has no sense of direction. If a sheep becomes lost, he cannot find his way back, like most other animals, but rather has to be sought out and rescued by its keepers.

We can at once see the parallel. When it comes to sin, mankind has never seemed too bright. Through the years God has tried to teach man, with precious little success, that obedience leads to blessings and disobedience leads to heartbreak and damnation. Likewise, man is so self-willed he is hard to drive or lead. And, man seems to have little sense of direction and is always straying away from God.

The ex-shepherd further explained that sheep are, by comparison, “tender skinned” animals which are easily devoured by their enemies. Again, we see the comparison. Mankind strays away from God and falls prey to the wolves of this world.

The wolves of greed and lust make short work of the majority who put up little or no defense. Hence, we find ourselves in

a world overcome and devoured by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:15-17; Jas. 1:14-15).

Man’s only hope (spiritually) is to turn to Jesus, the “Good Shepherd.” If we will come unto Jesus through obedience of His gospel, God has promised to forgive our sins and Jesus will lead us to green pastures and still waters.

Guardian of Truth XXIX: 21, p. 658
November 7, 1985