John 9:35-10:21; Mark 10:2-22; Matthew 19:3-15; Luke 16:18, 18:15-23
Jesus talks about sheep and children in the passages we read today. Both sheep and children are totally dependent on someone else to meet their needs, to care for and lead them. Neither can thrive without help.
Sheep and children can both be described as innocent, trusting, perhaps naive. But Jesus uses sheep and children to describe you and me. Not warriors. Not intellectuals. Not fierce lions or cunning cobras. We are sheep. We are children.
Or we should be.
Yesterday God impressed on me the fact that He is the Truth, and He alone can free any of us from the stranglehold sin has over us. Today, he reminds me that I need to come to Him with complete trust, the same kind of trust a sheep has for its shepherd. I need to come to Him in total dependence, like a child’s unapologetic dependence on his parent.
God is telling me today through His Word that I have nothing to offer Him. A sheep doesn’t tell the shepherd how to shepherd. A child doesn’t know what’s bests for him, is unable to make wise decisions, so he depends on a parent to do that for him.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Good Father. And He can be totally and completely trusted.
I said God is showing me that I have nothing to offer Him. I’m going to amend that a bit and say I realize I have nothing to offer God but myself, and He is assuring me that’s all He asks. I want to be a sheep in His pasture, a child in His care.
So I give myself to Him as freely and as unconditionally as a sheep who follows the voice of my Shepherd, like a child who knows her Daddy loves and cares for me.
And like the sheep enclosed in the pen protected by the Shepherd, and the child drawn close to the Father in a loving embrace, I want to live my life totally dependent on the One who loves me and gave Himself for me.
Sheep and children? Yep. That’s me.