Recognizing Our Shepherd and Our Faith as Christ's Sheep

CPerkins

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We are told that Christ's sheep hear his voice and Christ know each of them by name (John 10:3,27).

I think it's worthwhile to consider more closely what it means that Christ is our shepherd and we his sheep. A good shepherd stays with his sheep watching for any signs of danger. Shepherd is always there at the birth of a lamb to help in anyway that proves necessary. A shepherd moves his flock as necessary to insure they have adequate and safe vegetation to graze on. Sheep trust

I've been around goats and other farm animals, but not sheep. There are probably many other aspects of this interaction between a shepherd and his sheep that we can learn from. I found this article

How to be a shepherd sheep can trust • Biblical Recorder (brnow.org)
 
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CPerkins

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A shepherd guides his sheep knowing where to take them next. The shepherd has a plan. Christ does all of these and more as our shepherd.

Sheep sometimes may want to stray, fall sick, weaken for other reasons. Sometimes sheep want to stay where they are even though there is very little left.

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cp
 
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Very nice post and a sweet reminder of our Shepherd's concern and care for us. Did you know also that a sheep spends its whole life looking for a place to die and that if one sheep insists on running off that a shepherd will break its legs and carry it? I have had my figurative legs broken before and it was humbling. Being carried by Him was uniquely special as well but I sure don't want a do-over of all that.
 

CPerkins

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Very nice post and a sweet reminder of our Shepherd's concern and care for us. Did you know also that a sheep spends its whole life looking for a place to die and that if one sheep insists on running off that a shepherd will break its legs and carry it? I have had my figurative legs broken before and it was humbling. Being carried by Him was uniquely special as well but I sure don't want a do-over of all that.

I was hoping to here other attributes like this.

Sorry to hear about your legs. I also broke both of my legs when I was six. I was a young man who was sure it was alright to cross the road on my own. :ROFLMAO:
When I was 3 I decided to trip on down the stairs and broke my arm.

Sometimes lambs like I was can be just plain stupid, but it was an adventure.

cp
 
I was hoping to here other attributes like this.

Sorry to hear about your legs. I also broke both of my legs when I was six. I was a young man who was sure it was alright to cross the road on my own. :ROFLMAO:
When I was 3 I decided to trip on down the stairs and broke my arm.

Sometimes lambs like I was can be just plain stupid, but it was an adventure.

cp
I am sorry to hear that you broke your legs. I had my figurative legs broken. Meaning I had humbling experiences that cut me down. Sorry for the lack of clarity.
 

CPerkins

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Very nice post and a sweet reminder of our Shepherd's concern and care for us. Did you know also that a sheep spends its whole life looking for a place to die and that if one sheep insists on running off that a shepherd will break its legs and carry it? I have had my figurative legs broken before and it was humbling. Being carried by Him was uniquely special as well but I sure don't want a do-over of all that.

I am sorry to hear that you broke your legs. I had my figurative legs broken. Meaning I had humbling experiences that cut me down. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

Yes, I stumbled over those figurative legs it seems even though they were spelled out. :( I'll have to watch for those figurative legs better next time.


I found this article on the custom of raising sheep in Israel

Manners & Customs: Shepherd life; the care of sheep and goats | AHRC (ancient-hebrew.org)

Interestingly it was often the youngest boy in the family that was the shepherd. Also a temporary sheepfold was built at times from tangled thorn bushes when a shepherd was far from home.

cp
 
Apparently there were special shepherds that lived out in the fields with sheep that never had a permanent fold according to the Mishnah. They were kept near Jerusalem in area to the south.

Special shepherds and sheep

cp
Wow! So the shepherds who were told to go see Jesus in Bethlehem were watchers of the sacrificial lambs. Mind....blown.
 

CPerkins

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While looking deeper into the analogies that can be drawn from this Shepherd and his sheep analogy. I found this article.

A Mongolian Christian Shepherd shares what he has learned

The highlights this man shares:

First of all many Mongolians raise animals of some kind. For these people they would be aware of many ways sheep respond to their shepherd and how the Shepherd responds to his sheep.

  • A shepherd loses much sleep in the spring when so many sheep bear their young and the shepherd must watch over them.
  • A new lamb can freeze to death so it is necessary to be their. (God with us probably involves himself even more in our lives when we are first born).
  • The shepherd leads his flock to their pasture which may be 3-4 miles away and must avoid predators along the way
  • Shepherd must pay great attention to his flock and stay near the whole way to prevent harm
  • Wolves tend to wound many and back off to finish their prey later.
  • Sheep learn their masters voice from the time they are young. Blind sheep might attempt to run in fear from the shepherd until the hear his voice.
  • Sheep originally are born with bad eyesight (interesting we are as well near blind when first born).
  • There is more....
 
  • Wolves tend to wound many and back off to finish their prey later.
Now don't that just sound like enemy? So often it just takes something little, a nip of life if you will, to get us spiraling down where we are weakened in spirit and vulnerable for pinning. Reminds me of a story analogy I heard called "Satan's Yard Sale":

A story is told about Satan having a yard sale He spread out all of his favorite tools. I looked around at all the new looking tools. I saw a chainsaw for just a few dollars, a pruner for next to nothing, all of them having apparently been used very little or none at all. Then, I saw an old wedge lying on a table near the back. It was well worn and evidently heavily utilized. It cost far more than any of the other tools. “Why is this piece so high?” I asked. “Ahhh”, with a little laugh, Satan said, “that is my most effective and often used piece. I hesitate to let it go nor likely that you could afford it. Christians can eventually get over all of my other tools but if I can get just the edge of this wedge into their lives with only a few taps I can have them split and destroyed.
 
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I like this thread!

Mum's got some wool at the moment and she said I had to make a spindle but I haven't made one yet - so we can spin the wool into yarn. A friend has some sheep on her property and gave us a sack of fleece. It needed to be carded (brushed) and then spun, but we don't have a spinning wheel. They are quite expensive!
After it's spun into yarn we can knit some jumpers, socks, scarves etc. Or maybe a beanie. Or a blanket.

My former boss who grew up on a farm said one time he looked after some lambs and they took one sheep to the city to see relatives and it won a prize at the A&P show. Then they took it back home after a few years and still recognised him.

My cousins went on a road trip to the South Island and they encountered a traffic jam - sheep crossing the road. It took an hour or so to clear as there were about 300 sheep.
 

CPerkins

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I like this thread!

Mum's got some wool at the moment and she said I had to make a spindle but I haven't made one yet - so we can spin the wool into yarn. A friend has some sheep on her property and gave us a sack of fleece. It needed to be carded (brushed) and then spun, but we don't have a spinning wheel. They are quite expensive!
After it's spun into yarn we can knit some jumpers, socks, scarves etc. Or maybe a beanie. Or a blanket.

My former boss who grew up on a farm said one time he looked after some lambs and they took one sheep to the city to see relatives and it won a prize at the A&P show. Then they took it back home after a few years and still recognised him.

My cousins went on a road trip to the South Island and they encountered a traffic jam - sheep crossing the road. It took an hour or so to clear as there were about 300 sheep.

Somehow I missed this earlier :(

So do you have some stories regarding the tending of sheep. I would love to hear them. Understanding the life of a shepherd and his/her sheep can give us greater insight in these scriptures.

cp
 
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CPerkins

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Well I don't really have that many stories of tending sheep but I found this interesting as I was learning the character for sheep in chinese...


I imagine they also looked for a lamb without blemish as well.

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bobinfaith

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Also, USA in chinese is translated as 'beautiful country'. So I find it weird that some Americans regard China or Chinese people as their enemy?! The Chinese think your country is beautiful and call it that.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area (population of approximately 7 million) the Chinese church and non-believer community is huge. In my experience with fellowship I remember the word mei guo which means beautiful country.

It was explained to me that the beauty included the bright opportunities for education, careers, business opportunities, especially ministry opportunities here in the United States.

I stay in touch with friends in China via messenger, email and remember about 16 years ago we mailed an English Bible to a college teacher friend who teaches English, even today. So in my eyes, these friends in China bring out beautiful country.
 

CPerkins

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Here in the San Francisco Bay Area (population of approximately 7 million) the Chinese church and non-believer community is huge. In my experience with fellowship I remember the word mei guo which means beautiful country.

It was explained to me that the beauty included the bright opportunities for education, careers, business opportunities, especially ministry opportunities here in the United States.

I stay in touch with friends in China via messenger, email and remember about 16 years ago we mailed an English Bible to a college teacher friend who teaches English, even today. So in my eyes, these friends in China bring out beautiful country.

Your post reminded me of a book I read several years ago now, by Lisa See. The book was called "On Gold Mountain: The 100 Year Odyssey of my Chinese American Family."

The Chinese sought to come to the USA at the time thinking this country was a mountain of gold filled with opportunity as well as gold. In many ways it is and was, but the Chinese were treated badly in the beginning. The book documented some of those difficulties and hardships. In spite of these hardships the family built a highly successful antique business in the San Francisco area I believe.

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Your post reminded me of a book I read several years ago now, by Lisa See. The book was called "On Gold Mountain: The 100 Year Odyssey of my Chinese American Family."

The Chinese sought to come to the USA at the time thinking this country was a mountain of gold filled with opportunity as well as gold. In many ways it is and was, but the Chinese were treated badly in the beginning. The book documented some of those difficulties and hardships. In spite of these hardships the family built a highly successful antique business in the San Francisco area I believe.

cp
I read that one, it was very interesting.
Well it was Gold Mountain (Gum Sarn) because of the California goldrush. There WAS literally gold in the mountains. After that they built the railways too. Chinese people can be quite literal in their language.

The Chinese did come to NZ too when they had a gold rush in Otago. But by then there was hardly any gold left and had to pick over the traces. And they got treated pretty badly. The europeans really didn't like the the chinese. But then they didn't really like anybody different from themselves. Hundreds of years later the NZ govt apologised for their harsh treatment.

NZ doesn't have a special name in chinese, it's just a transliteration. But the Brits did nickname NZ 'Godzone'. The Maoris called it Aotearoa 'land of the long white cloud' . 70% of Chinese live in Auckland these days.

What NZ is best known for though, is a country with millions of sheep, which outnumber the people. 26.2 million sheep!