Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shepherds and love

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"Shepherding involves knowing your sheep, tending to them, sacrificing for them, and then letting them out to be sheep! If you do your job right, they'll always come back into the gate, because they know you are their Shepherd." ~ an excerpt from a comment.

Just read this, it's part of a comment off someone's blog post. I find this particularly interesting, especially because I have NEVER seen a Shepherd who let's his sheep out of his guidance, out of his care and out of his sight. This sounds eerily like the 'if you love someone, let them go and if they come back to you, they're yours' illustration people give. May I say: THIS IS NOT LOVE. Love doesn't let go, love holds on. 

It just brings to mind the passages in John, especially chapters14-17, where Jesus shows how he is the good shepherd. Verses like John 17:12 "While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled." NOT ONE of them lost. I definitely don't see any hint of letting them out of the pen. Even this verse John 10:27 "27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." If Jesus's sheep follow him, I don't see how there is any separation between them, or any letting go of any sort. Jesus is the good shepherd, which quite obviously suggests to me that all who are his sheep, will be kept safe and sound in the shepherd's care, safe from wolves and other harm. 


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