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The Parable of the Dim-witted Sheep

The Parable of the Dim-witted Sheep

It was a tragedy.

Turkish shepherds were eating breakfast when they saw their herd disappear before their eyes.

A sheep jumped off a nearby cliff. No one knows why, but it did. Another followed it over the edge. Then another. Before the startled shepherds could stop them, almost 1,500 sheep had followed that first sheep off the cliff, creating a grotesque, billowy pile of bleating death.

Once it was unscrambled, 450 animals had died. Ironically, the late jumpers were saved by the rising pile of bodies beneath them. The estimated loss was around $100,000. In a country whose personal median income is about $2,700 annually, this was catastrophic.

It’s always so obvious when it’s someone else, but how often do we get caught up in watching the other sheep instead of keeping our eyes on the shepherd? We chide our children about maintaining their integrity (“If everyone else jumps off a bridge are you going to do it?”), then find ourselves justifying personal indiscretions, harboring bitterness due to unfair work policies, telling little lies, and obscuring our own cheating because “everyone else does it.”

In a remarkable passage of verses, Jesus proclaims, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John 10:11, 13-14).

To accept Christ as the good shepherd, to be known by Him; it means we must keep our eyes on Him and His truths, instead of on the actions of the other sheep. As hard as that may be, it’s essential for our spiritual growth. Otherwise, we just might find ourselves leaping over a spiritual cliff without quite knowing why.

© 2005, Kent d Curry, Paul Povolni
Whats really cool is that when this happened I wrote a similar paper (cant find it now of course grrr ) Just last night while receiving consol over a situation that left me shaking my head asking God what's wrong with me... this person reminded me that sheep can be pretty stupid ( I know I can be pretty stupid lol ) and that they follow other sheep... So I needed this, this morning. Thanks sister!

Love in Christ
GREAT aritcle Coconut,
As brothers and sisters we should continually encourage and even provoke each other to do this. Get to know Jesus, become identified with the Good Shepherd and follow Him.

Thanks for the Great article again, Sister.
Great reminder Coconut to follow the Shepherd. So many follow other sheep and end up in the ditch. It's the Shepherd we need intimacy with, not other sheep.

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