John 10:11 ” I am the good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.
I heard a young white man say’ I am the black sheep of my family. I was young then and could not understand because he was a white man how could he be the black sheep of the family? Now I understand that it doe`s not matter the color of your skin,it`s how people treat you and perceive you.Because you do not dance to the beat of their drum, you do not look like them or act like them you become the odd ball out, The Black Sheep.Often times we put this label on ourselves. I have good news, that`s not how God sees you. What doe`s Black Sheep means and where did the term come from? The term: A member of a Family or group who is regarded as a disgrace to them. The term stems from the genetic effect in sheep whereby a Recessive gene occasionally manifests in the birth of a sheep with black rather than white coloring. Their wool was traditionally considered less valuable because black wool could not be dyed.Some called it the mark of the devil,this term black sheep has been typically been given negative implications, implying waywardness. We have been called a generation without a shepherd.
This passage of scripture will speak to us about shame and loneliness when we do something we are ashamed of and when people writ us off. Yes Black lives matter and to God all lives matter. God is no respecter of person( Acts 10:34),
many of Peter`s fellow Jews thought that God loved them more than the gentiles but Peter came to the understanding that God did not shoe Favoritism. He will give you favor no matter the color of your skin or background. God wants people of all nations to repent and be saved. ( 2 Peter 3:9). What He has done for others He will do for you. In the Text, the gospel of John, it is Jesus, standing in the midst of his lost and forlorn sheep, saying, ‘ I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them, but I am the good shepherd, I know my own and my own know me.
From being a Black Sheep in the eyes of ourselves and others we are transformed by Jesus Christ. We are brought into a new family where we are known, where the hairs on our head are counted, where we matter so much even if one of us wanders off at sunset, the shepherd will come looking for us until he finds us. we may be hiding in the crack house, in the prostitute house, in the poor house, in the jail house, in the shame house, in the schoolhouse,in the gambling house. We can run from God but we can`t hide. God will come and get us bring us back to the fold.
That`s what this Good Shepherd does. Some of us wander off, Jesus stands up and shout ‘You are my sheep now. I am your Shepherd. I know EVERYTHING about you and I still came looking for. And now I want you to know everything about me.
Someone told me not long ago that she was beginning to think she had wandered so far away from God that she was not sure God knew her forwarding address. The gospels are filled with people like her. A woman is caught in Adultery, Jesus picks her up and says, ‘ you are forgiven, go and sin no more. A Samaritan woman who knows nothing but shame and scorn for living on the wrong side of the tracks bumps into Jesus at a well and moments later she is telling the entire village that she met someone who knows everything about her and loves her still.
Even a criminal pinned to a cross next to Jesus, a man who had wandered so far away from God that he had no illusions that he would be able to sneak through the back door of heaven, even he, in all of his guilt and shame, is pulled into the flock and hears the words, Today you will be with me in Paradise.
David said it best in Psalms 23 ‘ You Lord, are my Shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won`t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd`s rod makes me feel safe. You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup untill it overflows. Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life and i will live forever in your house, Lord.
We must tell the Lord ” Thanks for being there” Gratitude for this presence, this promise, this peace that comes from living in the fold.
There is no black, white, brown, green, sheep in God`s Family because there is no flesh in the family, we are made in God`s image, He is a spirit.
The Good Shepherd.