Thursday, September 22, 2022

One Shepherd

If what we have in the church is a sheep problem, where the fat sheep keep shoving everyone else around and butting with their horns, then what is the solution to our sheep problem? 

To hear some tell it, the lean sheep just ought to get stronger. That would solve things. They ought not to let themselves be pushed around so easily. When I was little, I used to hear that all it takes is one person to stand up to a bully and that bully will sit down. So what we need is one brave little lean sheep to go all in for us. 

Others say that the fat sheep need to do something besides get fat. They need to invest more into their communities and give more back, instead of just sitting there soaking it all up and lounging around in comfort. If the fat sheep were working harder, serving more, leading better, they'd be working off those extra calories and they wouldn't be fat enough to shove anyone around. 

The answer is...neither of these. 

See, God has known He has a sheep problem from the very beginning, and He's been working on it from the very beginning. If you read through His promises, you'll see that He's been making provision for this very thing for a long time. And if we go back to our passage in Ezekiel 34 where we're talking about fat and lean sheep at all, we'll see that He sets up His solution to this problem even there by reminding His people of His promise: 

I will set up one shepherd over them.

That's it. God's answer to His sheep problem is...a shepherd. Not just any shepherd, but one shepherd - one shepherd whose love is for the fat and the lean sheep. One shepherd who can be fair and just to all. One shepherd who knows how to get into the pasture and sort things out. 

That one shepherd, of course, is Jesus (and God's promise says as much). 

This is going to sound like a silly question, but do you realize what a difference Jesus could make in our churches? 

Do you realize how it would change the nature of our one anothering if we were all just listening to the same voice instead of trying to look at the same piece of grass? Do you realize how different we would be as a body if we let Jesus direct our steps by His wisdom and move us together instead of making ourselves fat or lean? Do you realize how church would be different if none of us were trying to make ourselves fat? We wouldn't be butting anyone out of the way because we wouldn't have to. With Jesus, there's plenty for everybody. 

Call me crazy, but I think God's onto something here. When you have a sheep problem, the answer is definitely a Shepherd. 

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