In our world of abundance, the only scarce commodity is human attention. Families don’t communicate. Husbands work too much. Teens are in a world of their own. Even love is often self-serving.
Sometimes even the best human attention leaves us cold. In an hour of severe loss, it seems as if no one understands. Even family members and close friends aren’t able to help.
That’s one reason the Bible often pictures human beings like sheep. Like sheep without a shepherd, we easily become lost amid life’s heartaches and perplexing problems. Then we become easy prey for spiritual predators. No wonder the Bible says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6).
This is as true in 21st-century America as it was in the ancient land of Palestine where Jesus lived.
We may hide our lost condition under a veneer of sophistication and self-sufficiency. Beneath the surface, however, lurks the awareness that we truly are like straying sheep. We have sinned against God. We are aimlessly wandering through life. We are headed for disaster.
Fortunately, there is a shepherd to guide the way. He is Jesus, and he is the Good Shepherd. He understands people. He wants to lead and care for everyone.
He says, “My sheep listen to my voice” (John 10:27). His followers know him and gladly follow. He seeks out the lost sheep. Most important of all, Jesus even lays down his life for all people.
The author of the wonderful 23rd Psalm puts it this way:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (vv 1-4).
Make it a habit — a good habit — to be in church every Sunday to learn more about the personal and eternal attention of the Good Shepherd.