Jesus and the sheep?

So often, we see the picture of Jesus holding the little sheep and think it's cute, right? That's what I've thought & I've actually not understood it completely until today. I'd always ponder... "Why does Jesus hold sheep?"... almost like it was a dorky thing. This is because I was being naive and not leaning on the scriptures to find the true answer to this. 
I did not see that in all actuality the sheep represents me.
This changes the way I view this picture.

Did you know that there are 257 scriptures in the Bible pretaining to the shepherd & sheep? This fact MUST mean there is important message from God to us. Look at how happy this little lamb is, how content. Doesn't the lamb just look safe? I don't know how something can "look safe" but this little lamb has got that look going on completely. The scriptures refer to us(people) as sheep(christians), or lost sheep(non-christians), and Jesus as the good Shepherd, sent from Heaven by God the Father.

This is Jesus talking in John 10:11-1711 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen(lost sheep). I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Did you know that sheep are nearsighted and actually quite dumb? Ha, yep. And God's saying that is OUR fallen state, we are sheep/lost sheep in desperate need of a good Shepherd to lead us, protect us, teach us, & lay down His life for us.

Jesus Again in Matthew 18:12-14 says:

12 "If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish."

God is all about seeking and saving the lost sheep. How amazing is our God? Words cannot express.  I pray this blesses you and helps you see the love of our Heavenly Father today. Jesus is not what religion portrays, He's a heart that pumps everything our heart desires and longs for... safety, love, protection, gentleness, and most of all GUIDANCE... we need guidance. As sheep need guidance, we need guidance. We can't do this life alone. I will never look at pictures with the good Shepherd and sheep ever the same!  I need Jesus.


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