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A letter from the apostle Peter

Stubborn and helpless sheep

“For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:25)

The metaphor of sheep and shepherds is often used in the Bible. Jesus presents Himself as “the good Shepherd”, and people are compared to sheep. That is not a particularly flattering comparison for us humans. Sheep are portrayed as helpless, often stubborn animals. They need someone who provides food, water, and protection against predators. They can’t take care of themselves. And as today’s verse points out, they tend to stray if not kept in check by a shepherd.

In another Bible passage, Jesus says that his sheep follow Him when they hear his voice (John 10:27). But the problem is that most humans have turned away from God and don’t know Him anymore. They preferred to go their own way. And now they are lost and at risk of losing their life.

It would be logical for God to say: well, you got what you wanted. You turned your back on Me and now you’re facing the consequences. But Jesus did something completely different. He gave his life for those stubborn sheep and brought them into his fold. And He still invites those who are not yet in his fold, to return to him.

Are you still such a stubborn straying sheep, or have you returned to the Good Shepherd?

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Grietje Commelin

Grietje studied theology and mastered in Bible Translation. Next to being a mother, she supports GlobalRize by writing bible reflections and other content for GlobalRize.

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