In today’s Gospel reading from John 10, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” He continues with the analogy of referring to his followers as sheep. Many of us today, if not the vast majority, have never really had any experience with sheep. So we may have a bit of a hard time following these words of Jesus.
Sheep are not the smartest of animals. They’re not like man’s best friend, the dog. They won’t go fetch your slippers or smother you with affection when you come home from a hard day of work. They’re not like dolphins, smart and intuitive. They pretty much just eat and bleat. But sheep are pretty good followers. If you round them up and point them in the right direction, they will follow the sheep ahead of them.
Jesus certainly didn’t mean to demean his followers when making this statement. He just knows how people are. And for the most part, people are followers. The question becomes, whom will you follow? There are plenty out there who want to lead us astray. They preach moral relativism, the gospel of “if it feels good, then it is good,” and “don’t let anyone tell you what you should or shouldn’t do.” We can always choose to follow them. Or we can be good sheep, listening closely for the voice of the Good Shepherd, and following Him.
Father, we thank you for the Good Shepherd, always leading us down the path of righteousness. May we always listen for His voice, and follow wherever He leads. Amen.