(June 16, 2021) Mama Lava shares some recent scriptural observations…

Sometimes we skip by the most incredible things in the Bible and are not stopped in our tracks by them, simply because we don’t have the experience by which to fully understand them.

I am not around animals much… but while observing flocks grazing near my neighbourhood recently, I suddenly saw scripture come alive in respect to my Saviour. Result: The following five reasons why I am astounded and amazed at Jesus, my good shepherd…

1. He knows his sheep by name
‘The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out’ (John 10:3).

What? How on earth? I was downright impressed when I observed those flocks, thinking of this verse today in amazement. There were so many animals! How could I ever know them by name?

Yet Jesus, my good shepherd, knows my name! And he knows yours!

He knows our family trees back to the beginning. He knows our medical and mental issues. He knows and cares about even the little things in our lives. It’s astounding!

2. He knows if 1/100 is missing
‘What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?’ (Matthew 18:12). 

How do you count animals that don’t stand still? How would anyone possibly supervise them well enough to know when one had wandered off?

And yet Jesus keeps track of us. My good shepherd knows when I wander away and when I storm off. He knows when I am hiding, and he knows why. And he comes after me.

And he does it for you and for every one of his sheep. He’s amazing!

3. He manages the details of his sheep
‘What shall I give you?’ Laban asked. ‘Don’t give me anything,’ Jacob replied. ‘But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-coloured lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages’ (Genesis 30:31-32).

Finding such wages? I walked by those flocks above and imagined trying to separate the spotted ones from the solid-coloured ones.

How in the world would Jacob – could anyone – accomplish such a task? It would take so much energy! Yet Jacob managed it with his flocks.

My astounding good shepherd is even more capable! He knows whether my heart and yours are his. One day he will separate his people from those who don’t want him (Matthew 25:31-34). Are you awestruck as I am?

4. He gave up luxury for his sheep
‘He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young’ (Isaiah 40:11).

I got the opportunity to observe the shepherd of this flock. He drives an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) and transports injured animals on the back. He connects his hoses to the neighbourhood fire hydrant to provide water. He sleeps in a motor home.

It’s rough, but he has it much easier than the shepherds of Bible days to which Jesus referred when he called himself the good shepherd. The biblical shepherd’s work was outdoors in all kinds of weather. It was to live in the dirt and dust with allergens of all kinds. It smelled like filthy animals.

My good shepherd left heaven and all the riches of glory to be born human and placed in a manger – quite veritably a feeding trough for animals. He did that for me. And for you. Extraordinary!

5. He loves his stinky sheep to death (literally)
‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me’ (John 10:11,14).

When Jesus calls us his sheep, he knows that we reek! Our sin is foul. Our attitudes are rank. We are tangled and tattered and in serious need of the shepherd’s shears, from which we run. My good shepherd knows all of this about me and yet he still loves me and laid his life down for me. The same is true for you.

Be astonished with me
I identify with this animal – hungry, stinky, tattered and in need of my good shepherd.

I walked by the flocks today. I identified with the animals.For the above five reasons, I am astounded and amazed at Jesus, my good shepherd. Aren’t you?

If you feel like a lamb without a shepherd, my good shepherd would love to draw you in. Read The Gospel in a Nutshell.

Psalm 23:1-2 is precious: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.’

Mama Lava believes in making the big world a bit smaller through connection. Believing that everybody deserves to be wrapped in maternal love when they need it, she regularly shares encouragements… telling life experiences from an unapologetically Christian point of view the way she sees it, just as a mother does, via her link, Mama Lava’s Back Porch ( A Dose of Maternal Love)

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