Summary: In this post-modern culture people often are wondering aimlessly with no direction and worse yet no one to follow. This sermon, preached on Mother’s Day draws some important lessons that can be learned from a Ewe on what Jesus meant when he called us his
I’ve often said that I’m glad I do what I do because I couldn’t do what my wife does. Mothers are amazing. They’re teachers and disciplinarians. They’re cleaning ladies and doctors, and nurses and psychologists and counselors. They’re coaches and chauffeurs. They’re developers of personalities, molders of vocabularies and shapers of attitudes. Mothers are a gift from God.
The love of a mother for her children is unlike any other love that has ever been created. It’s beyond belief. It’s truly amazing.
This week I visited a sheep farm and observed the love of a mother for her baby lamb in action.
The baby was only one day old and this was a first time mom. But I wasn’t the only intruder in the pen, there was also a puppy who was antagonizing this new lamb and its mother. As the puppy ran around the sheep the ewe was very insistent that it stay away from her baby. She stamped her feet at the puppy and shielded the lamb with her own body. It was an incredible sight to watch as this mother practiced her love for her baby by protecting that baby from what she believed was danger. Finally the owner walked over toward the puppy and the puppy backed off. He then approached the baby lamb and instead of getting defensive the mother allowed him to pick up the baby with no problem. What was the difference I wondered? This week I realized exactly what that difference was, and today I want to talk with you about some lessons that I learned from that Ewe and which I believe we each can take away from this place today.
In our text today we have a lesson taught by Jesus by using the symbolism of sheep. For some of you the conclusions that Jesus drew will not be difficult to understand because you are familiar with sheep. While others, like myself, will have a more difficult time because of a lack of experience with them.
I believe there are two very important lessons that we can learn from sheep. The first lesson comes from the fact that the sheep recognize their master’s voice. There’s a commercial that’s aired recently in which a shepherd is on his cell phone and calls his sheep which come running by the hundreds to surround him. While that’s a bit far fetched there’s some truth in it.
Kenny, who owns the sheep that I visited this week tells me that his sheep can be all the way across the field and if he yells for them, it doesn’t matter what he says, they recognize his voice and come bolting across the field.
The sheep wouldn’t respond to me when I talked to them, rather they became afraid and as I entered their fenced in area they hightailed it across the field and huddled together out of fear. The sheep recognize the voice of their shepherd because a relationship exists between them. They recognize the voice of their shepherd because it is the shepherd with whom they spend their time. It is the shepherd from whom they receive everything they need to survive. It is the shepherd with whom they are in a relationship. That brings us to our first lesson.
We must recognize our master’s voice. The only way that we can do that is through a relationship with him. Jesus said that his sheep recognize his voice. They don’t follow any one else but rather wait for his leading and go where he calls them.
If you have your Bibles open I’d encourage you to turn back to John chapter 9 with me. I want to help you set today’s story in context. What we have here is the story of a man who was born blind with whom Jesus comes in contact. Jesus rubs some mud on this man’s eyes and then sends him away to a pool to wash. When he does this he can see. Now this really ticks the religious leaders off. They start questioning him as to how he had been healed. When they don’t get the answers that they’re looking for from him they go to his parents who respond by saying, “He’s a grown man. He can speak for himself.” Finally after questioning him again the man becomes annoyed with them and tells the Pharisees off only to be thrown out into the streets. John tells us that Jesus finds this man and asks “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” Now keep in mind that this man has never actually seen Jesus, because when Jesus sent him away to the pool he was still blind. The man replies, “Point him to me, so that I can believe.” Jesus says “You’re looking at him, don’t you recognize my voice?” To which the man bows down and worships.