Summary: Max Lucado once noted that sheep are dumb, defenseless and boring. Why would we want to be a sheep? The answer to that question says a lot about us and our relationship to God.
OPEN: During Summer camp I remember hearing the following song:
“I wanna be a sheep, baa baa
I wanna be a sheep, baa baa
I wanna be a sheep, baa baa
I wanna be a sheep, baa baa”
It went on to say
“I don’t want to be a hypocrite… because they’re not hip with it”
“I don’t want to be a Pharisee… because they’re not fair you see”
“I don’t want to be a Sadducee… because they’re so sad you see”
But every chorus would come back with the words “I wanna be a sheep, baa baa”
Some time back Max Lucado asked the question: “Couldn’t God Have Thought Of Something Better Than Sheep? Of all God’s animals, the sheep is the least able to take care of himself. Sheep are dumb! Have you ever met a sheep trainer? Ever seen sheep tricks? Know anyone who has taught his sheep to roll over? Ever witnessed a circus sideshow featuring "Mazadon and His Jumping Sheep"? No. Sheep are just too dumb.
And they’re defenseless.
They have no fangs or claws.
They can’t bite you and they can’t outrun you.
That’s why you never see sheep as mascots for sports teams.
We’ve heard of the St. Louis Rams and the Chicago Bulls and the Seattle Seahawks, but the New York Lambs? Who wants to be a lamb?
You can’t even stir up a decent yell for the cheerleaders:
‘We are the sheep.
We don’t make a peep.
Victory is yours to keep.
But count on us if you want to sleep.’”
Yeah, sheep aren’t real impressive.
They’re not known as fighters and they generally don’t have much to brag about, and so the world tends to overlook the church… well, because the church is supposed to be filled with good sheep.
The world often wants more excitement.
They want more pizzazz and power.
They want to get ahead in this world and… well… sheep are generally followers by nature.
So why would I want to be a sheep?
Well, you actually don’t get much choice.
God says… you’re a sheep whether you want to be or not.
That’s kind of how He created you.
He created you to be followers… of something.
And if you look real close at other people’s lives you’ll find that it’s true.
In this world some people follow all kinds of things.
Some folks follow riches and power and influence because they believe that the more they have, the happier they’ll be. But Andrew Carnegie once noted: "Millionaires who laugh, are rare."
Others follow the crowd. They’re into the “party scene”. There’s always a new party, a new drug, a new thrill or high. All you have to do is look at the lives people like Charlie Sheen, Lindsey Lohan, Britney Spear and others to see how well that works out.
But people are natural born followers.
They follow after something.
They build their lives around something.
And you can usually tell what it is they’re following by observing how passionate they are about a given item. They’ll have a whole collection of magazines or books on that topic. And they’ll argue you to death defending that one thing they’ve built their lives around.
It could be racing cars, horses, gardening, movie stars, etc. – whatever they are passionate about is what they follow!
But the Bible constantly drives home to us the fact that – it doesn’t matter what else you follow - if Jesus isn’t at the core of our life…
1. “We (are) all (going to be), like sheep, (who) have gone astray...” Isaiah 53:6
Unless you follow the Jesus your life will end up not going anywhere.
You’ll ALWAYS end up going astray.
2. And unless Jesus is your shepherd, you’re not going to have the power to be happy and content. As it says in Matthew 9:36
“When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
As I was preparing this sermon those two realities impressed themselves upon me.
So let’s start with that first proposition:
Without Jesus as your shepherd… you’re not going anywhere in your life.
There’s no religion in the world like Christianity for making your life count for something. Christianity may not be flashy or impressive but when we follow our shepherd He leads us to accomplish great things.
ILLUS: Years back Russ Blowers was the preacher at the 91st St. Christian church, one of our larger sister churches in Indianapolis. He was also an active member of the Rotary club there, and each week different members would give a brief statement about their job. When it came Blower’s turn – instead of saying, "I’m a minister” and bragging about the congregation he served, he stated: