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THE SHEEP-CHASER


A guide on a tour bus that traveled through Israel’s countryside had the crowd engaged as he explained the history, the scenery and the lifestyle. In his description, he included a heart-warming portrayal of the ancient shepherd/sheep relationship. He told of how the shepherd builds a relationship with his sheep, how he feeds them and gently cares for them. He pointed out that the shepherd doesn’t drive the sheep but leads them, and that the shepherd does not need to be harsh with them, because they hear his voice and follow.


Suddenly the guide realized he had lost his audience. They all were staring out the window at a guy chasing a flock of sheep. He was throwing sticks and rocks at them, whacking them with sticks and even siccing the sheep dog on them. The sheep-chasing man really took away from the image the guide had just painted.


The guide overcome by emotion jumped off the bus and confronted the man, "Do you realize what you have done to me?" he asked. "I was spinning a charming story about the gentle ways of shepherds and here you are mistreating, hazing and assaulting these sheep. What’s going on?"


A bewildered look froze upon the face of the sheep-chaser. Then he finally said, "Man, you’ve got it all wrong. I’m not a shepherd. I’m a butcher."


This poor unwitting fellow provides a tremendous illustration of what a shepherd is not.


(From a sermon by Scott Chambers, "Whatever Happened to Biblical Leadership?")

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