Summary: Sheep are gentle, quiet and easily led. Goats are pushy, self-sufficient, and headstrong. Which are you?
There was once a town drunk who gave his heart to Jesus Christ. He immediately stopped drinking and began to look for a church and had purposed in his heart that he would attend the first church he found.
Determined to turn his life around he found a church and went in. He was met at the door by a couple of ushers and they told the man, “Please go home and clean up, take a bath, cut your hair, shave your beard and then you can come back to church.”
The man left and did what they asked and came back to the same church the next week.
Once again, he was met at the door by the ushers. The former drunks said, “I have done what you asked, I am clean, my hair cut and combed, I am clean shaven and I am ready to come to church.
The ushers said to the man, “That is good but your clothes are dirty and torn up. Go get a suit so that you will look nice for church.”
A little sad, the man decided to do what they asked, after all this was the church he felt he was supposed to attend.
So he went out and bought a nice suit, determined that this time they would let him in so he could worship God.
The next Sunday the former drunk returned to that same church but this time the man was met by the two ushers and the senior pastor. Together, the three of them explained to the man that he could not come into the church because of his past. How would it look if the town drunk came to their church?
The man walked out of the church totally dejected because he desired to worship God in a house of worship with the men and women of God. He sat down on the steps in front of the church and put his head in his hands and began to cry.
As he sat there, he felt the hand of someone touch his shoulder. Before he could look up he heard a voice say, “Don’t worry my friend, I have been trying to get into that church for years and they won’t let me in either.”
The former drunk looked up and saw a man dressed in a white rob with nail pierced hands. Jesus wanted in that church too.
Last week I spoke about the parable of the talents that is found in Matthew 25. I challenged you to use those things which God has given you for His glory.
Tonight I am going to follow up that message with a message that Jesus spoke right after He gave the parable of the talents. Jesus spoke to His disciples about sheep and goats.
Which are you?
Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive.
I’m not a farmer, but my dad did haul livestock when I was a kid. So when it comes to the differences between sheep and goats, I am no expert.
According to the 4 H one difference is that sheep say baa and goats says maa. But that is not important for this message.
Sheep are gentle, quiet, and innocent animals. They are affectionate and non-aggressive. Sheep rarely give the shepherd (their leader) any problems.
Goats on the other hand are not, they cause a lot of problems.
Sheep like to graze goats like to browse.
Sheep also enjoy still waters. They do not like to drink from agitated waters. This means that they are not quick to be where there is strife, arguing, dissension or turmoil.
According to online information one of the telling differences between sheep and goats is the fact that there are many more wild goats than there are sheep. Sheep are more domesticated.
This is an important difference because it shows that sheep have a greater symbolic relationship with mankind.
Goats are smarter than sheep but this has a downside. Goats tend to depend on themselves instead of depending upon a shepherd.
The symbolism is that sheep need a shepherd.
Sheep are commonly used throughout the Bible to refer to God’s people and there is a lot symbolic meaning given towards the comparisons.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Psalm 95:6-7
The Scriptures do not give a lot of indications as the tendencies of the goat. We can see that they were useful and that they were allowed as sacrifices as long as they had no spots or blemishes.