Have you ever wondered why the great teacher Jesus used sheep in reference to His fellowers and not goats? Have you taken a thought about why those whom he calls goats on the left hand in Matthew 25:42-44 were condemned to hell? Do you know why Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world? John 1:29. The following exposition will enlighten us.
1. SHEEP ARE MEEK: Sheep are humble and meek by nature. They are meek to the point of offering no resistance when they are about to be sheared or slaughtered, Isa. 53:7. Christ as the lamb of God did not in any way resist those who arrested and crucified him. He warned Peter against the use of the sword when he in defense of him cut off the ear of Malchus the servant of the High Priest, John 18: 10.
2. SHEEP CAN RECOGNIZE THEIR SHEPHERD: Christ likens His disciples to sheep who are able to recognize their shepherd, John 10:14. As a little boy, I tended a ewe (female) sheep that my cousin gave me. I would take her out in the morning, tie to a stake in the bush to graze. I would go in the afternoon to check her and in the evening to bring her back. Each time I went, she
demonstrated a longing to see me. Whenever she sighted me, she would bleat loudly and keep quiet immediately I untied her. Unlike a goat, she never offered any resistance because she recognized me.
3. SHEEP ARE ORDERLY: Sheep can go in a group in an orderly manner. I once lived with my late father, Evangelist Israel Tommy Udo in a rented apartment in a village in Abak, Akwa Ibom State. Our landlord was an old man who had a good number of sheep. He took them out in the morning, checked on them in the afternoon and brought them back in the evening. Surprisingly one evening, he could not find any of the sheep. He only came home with stakes and ropes. No one knew why they had all scattered. We were surprised that at dusk, they all returned to the
compound together. Wow! Sheep can be orderly and organized.
We often hear people describe others as being sheepish. By this, they imply that they are foolish. It is just the nature of sheep to be meek, gentle, humble, orderly and organized. Contrary to what is generally believed, we can say that sheep are wise. No wonder that Jesus compared His disciples to she, and He Himself is described as the lamb of God…Advocate I. Tommy