When Jesus finds us and carries us home, we aren’t like “pet” black sheep who are cute and well-groomed, having just been to the pet spa to have our wool trimmed and perfumed. No! We’re like a dirty, smelly, heavy, black sheep who has been lost, wandering in the wilderness.
During a recent worship service, we were shown a painting in which Jesus was carrying a sheep—an illustration of Jesus being the Good Shepherd who rescues a lost sheep. (Luke 15:3-6; John 10:14).
We’ve all seen many such depictions of Jesus carrying a sheep. But what immediately grabbed my attention was that the sheep draped around Jesus’s shoulders was black!
As I reflected on my shock from seeing Jesus carrying a black sheep instead of the traditional white sheep, I realized that the painting still fell short of an accurate depiction of Jesus finding and carrying a lost sheep home. (Luke 15:3-6).
Not only might the lost “sheep” be black. But the lost “sheep” would certainly be dirty, smelly and heavy (unlike the cute, well-groomed, “pet” black sheep depicted in the painting).
When Jesus finds us and carries us home, we aren’t like “pet” black sheep who are cute and well-groomed, having just been to the pet spa to have our wool trimmed and perfumed. (I love smelling my dog Toto’s perfumed fur after his trips to the pet spa.)
We’re like a dirty, smelly, heavy black sheep who has been lost, wandering in the wilderness.
Similarly, when we follow the Way of Jesus, we must find and help all lost people. And most of these lost people will not be like cute, well-groomed sheep who have just been in the spa where their wool has been trimmed and perfumed!
Like the LORD—and like Jesus who embodies and reveals the LORD to us—we must be compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness to all “sheep”, without regard to the color of the “sheep” and without regard to how “dirty”, “smelly”, and “heavy” the “sheep” are. (Exodus 34:6).
We must drape all “sheep” across our shoulders, no matter their “color” and no matter how dirty, smelly, and heavy they are.
And, instead of complaining about how hard we have to work to carry these “sheep’, we should rejoice! (Luke 15:6-7).
Because these “dirty”, “smelly”, “heavy” “sheep” are coming home to praise and worship the LORD together with all of us who follow the Way of Jesus—the Way of the LORD. (Psalm 23).
To read more about the same worship service, please read my blog “Keeping My Balance”.
To read a about my dog, Toto, please read my blog “Toto Begging for Food”.