My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. -John 10:27-28 (NIV)

So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. -Genesis 43:32 (NKJV)

It hurts to be called sheep, doesn’t it?

People use that term derisively and condescendingly about those who can’t think for themselves. This world tells us that we make our own minds and paths and destinies.

My church’s pastor told us about how Egypt in the book of Genesis was a parallel for our world today. Just as Egyptians would not think of eating with Hebrews, nor will the world of unbelievers eat the bread of life with us.

Sheep, when you think about it, are dirty animals who don’t seem to have enough sense to get out of the rain. They don’t seem to be smart enough to stay away from harm, even if they get harmed over and over again. They truly do need a shepherd to guide them to save them from themselves.

Sound familiar?

Indeed, we are aimless in life without our shepherd. We hear Jesus’ voice, and He hears ours. Those who do not follow Him–the fiercely independent ones who think they know better than God, or even believers who still choose themselves over Him–do not hear Him.

We do sin and are harmed by it, and can even keep repeating the cycle of sin till we let Him guide us back to refuge in Him. And despite the stigma of being sheep, there is such freedom in surrender of our lives in faith and obedience to a shepherd who shows us the path and the narrow door.

We need Jesus, or else we will die. And He lovingly guides us so that when we depart this world, our journey doesn’t end there. The world doesn’t understand. They can’t hear His call.

Thank you, Jesus, for shepherding us through this world, so we may make it to the next!