Christians are often compared to sheep in God’s word, but just how similar are sheep and Christians, anyway? If we look beyond their docile nature, food value, and the fact that they grow really great raw material for sweaters and suits, they have some other unique qualities that are worth discussing.
Sheep rely on their shepherd to lead them to fresh grass and water every day and don’t store up food. But, even though we are supposed to be as sheep, we store up everything, including money, food, clothing, extra housing; you name it, we store it up. Then we take out insurance policies so that, in case some of our stuff is lost, stolen or damaged, we can get more stuff. We don’t show that we have much faith in our Shepherd’s ability to provide for us. I guess we’re not really much like sheep when it comes to that.
Sheep blindly and obediently follow their shepherd’s voice no matter where he goes. Well, our Shepherd talks, but for some reason, we don’t listen very much. I think it’s because we all want to be leaders, especially of our own lives and, actually, we never follow anyone anywhere unless we know where they’re going and what’s in it for us. Or maybe it’s just that we’re really not very comfortable going where our Shepherd is trying to lead us. I guess we’re not much like sheep when it comes to that, either.
Sheep almost always flock together. When they start wandering away from the rest of the flock, it’s usually because they’re following a goat, and we all know that goats like to wander off to find better grass. We’re a lot like the goats because we’re always looking for better stuff, too. Maybe we can find a bigger house, a flashier car, a better paying job, a better church — or maybe even a better wife. I think we’re more like goats than sheep when it comes to staying together in a flock, too. We like to be independent and take care of ourselves and our own personal needs. We don’t worry about unity and we disagree about almost everything! Sadly, we disagree most when it comes to God’s word and what our Christian lives should be.
Gee, I guess we’re really not much like sheep at all.
Actually, we’re much more like goats.
If we’re convinced that sheep represent the saved (or “born again” in Scripture), and that goats represent the unsaved or lost, maybe we need to worry about our goat-like behavior.
Matthew 25:31-46 says: “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I hungered and you gave Me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger and ye took Me in; naked and ye clothed Me; I was sick and ye visited Me; I was in prison and ye came unto Me.” Then shall the righteous answer Him saying “Lord, when saw we Thee hungering and fed Thee, or thirsty and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger and took Thee in, or naked and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick or in prison and came unto Thee?” And the King shall answer and say unto them “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”
Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I hungered and ye gave Me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in; naked and ye clothed Me not; sick and in prison, and ye visited Me not.” Then shall they answer Him saying “Lord, when did we see Thee hungering or athirst or a stranger, or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?” Then shall He answer them, saying “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.” And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”