Have you ever watched sheep? They are dumb animals at times. They are skittish and go every which way when you least expect it – try walking through a flock of them. If you have watched them get herded into pens ready to be shipped off for slaughter you’ll also know what I mean. They climb over top of each other and scatter in different directions at every moment. The dogs have their work cut out to drive them into a tight pack to keep them under control. It is bedlam, Chaos.
Now replace the scene above with the way olden day shepherds look after a flock of sheep. The shepherd of old didn’t drive the sheep in the direction he wanted, he led them. He would walk out in front of them and they would fall in behind him. And when the shepherd’s sheep mingled with another shepherd’s flock, while feeding in a green pasture, and it was time to move on, the shepherd would simply call to his sheep and they would separate from the other flock and follow after the shepherd. What a beautiful picture. The scene is tranquil.
Sheep were never meant to be herded!
In a world that is racing to make a fast buck, and people are wanting more and more…right now, no NOW! The tranquility passes and chaos reigns.
Take a breath.
Jesus tells us this:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:11-15
The difference is ownership.
Why does a man stand between a firestorm and try and defend his property, even at great risk to his life? Ownership.
Why would a mum stand between her baby and a ferocious dog? Ownership. She owns the title of Mum.
What is ownership? It is not necessarily what we have bought, it is what we LOVE.
What we LOVE we will lay our life down for it.
Consider this then. As Christians we are commanded:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19,20
Go and make disciples.
A disciple is one who follows after us. It is one in whom we replicate ourselves. It is like a parent and their child…the child replicates that which is learnt from the parent, good and bad.
Are we just the ‘hired man’ or will we be a ‘shepherd’? The difference is the motivation behind what and how we disciple.
Note well. We are all making disciples! But what sort are we making?
Don’t rush past these two questions… it may well be the difference between love and unloved, life and death, Chaos and Tranquility.
Who are you intentionally discipling?