Near the village of Gevas in eastern Turkey, while shepherds ate their breakfast, one of their sheep jumped off a 45-foot cliff to its death. Then, as the stunned shepherds looked on, the rest of the flock followed. In all, 1,500 sheep mindlessly stumbled off the cliff. The only good news was that the last 1,000 were cushioned in their fall by the growing woolly pile of those who jumped first. According to The Washington Post, 450 sheep died.
The Bible often refers to human beings as sheep (Psalm 100:3, Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 9:36). Easily distracted and susceptible to group influence, we would rather follow the crowd than the wisdom of the Shepherd.
I'm glad the Bible also describes sheep in a positive way. Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepherd…My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me" (John 10:14, 27).
So the big question for us is: Whom are we following? One another? Self-centered shepherds? Or the voice and direction of the Good Shepherd?
Our challenge is to avoid the mistake of the sheep who blindly followed one another over a cliff. We must make it our daily purpose to ask ourselves: Am I listening for the voice of the Good Shepherd? Am I following Him?
Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need thy tender care;
In thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare. - Thrupp
1. In what areas of life are you most susceptible to following the crowd rather than Christ, the Good Shepherd?
2. What can you do today, to more closely follow the voice of the Good Shepherd?