Sheep and Wolves

Jesus often refers to himself in the Bible as a shepherd. The Bible says that he is the "good shepherd". Jesus said that the good shepherd will even lay down his life for his sheep. The good shepherd protects his sheep from wolves and any other thing that might harm them. Why then does Jesus say to his disciples "behold I send you out as sheep among the wolves"? Doesn't that seem like the last thing a shepherd would do? What kind of chance does a sheep have against a wolf? I believe the answer is a simple one.... Jesus loves the wolves too!
Jesus doesn't just love those who love him. He even loves those who hate him, despise him and even those who deny his existence. Jesus prayed that God would forgive those who crucified him! Yes, Jesus doesn't only love his sheep, he loves the wolves as well.
It is his hope that the wolves would desire to become his sheep. That is why he sends his sheep out among them. It is to show the wolves how wonderful, peaceful and safe it is to be a sheep. I believe it is Jesus' desire that the wolves see how well he protects and provides for the sheep that the wolves would want what the sheep have.
The life of a sheep is sheltered. The shepherd feeds them, protects them, goes in front of them to ensure a safe environment, takes care of them when they are sick and pretty much sees to every one of their needs all their lives long! Contrast that to the wandering, dangerous, lonely life of a wolf. The wolf must care for and hunt for itself. It must protect itself and it's offspring. There is no one to feed it when the winters are long and cold and no one to watch over it as it sleeps.
And just like sheep and wolves, Jesus loves all people too, not just those who love him in return. It is his desire that we tire of our self-sufficient lifestyle and turn to him. He even gave his life for us just to give us the opportunity to do that. He longs to do everything for us because he loves us. It doesn't mean we become robots who have no mind of their own or are ordered about all day long with no choice but to obey. To know him is to love him. Jesus is kind and generous and merciful. His "yoke is easy and his burden is light".
Let Jesus be the Lord of your life and find out what it really means to rest.

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