ABOUT BO PEEP AND THOSE LOST SHEEP

Blog: Max Dawson
May 22, 2017
“Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and doesn’t know where to find them. Leave them alone and they’ll come home, wagging their tails behind them.”
Oh, really? Leave them alone and they’ll come home? Not likely. Sheep finding their way home may happen in a nursery rhyme, but not in real life.
In real life, sheep will rarely find their own way home. Sheep need shepherds. When they have wandered away, someone has to go after them and find them and bring them home.
Remember what Jesus taught in .
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.”
After calling together his friends and neighbors, he said to them, “I have found my sheep which was lost” (). What if he had done as the nursery rhyme suggests? What if he had just left that sheep alone? Chances are he would never have seen that sheep again.
Local congregations need shepherds who will go after the lost and straying sheep and bring them back home. It is a task for those who love the Lord and His sheep.
THE FINAL WORD
Some folks might read the block above and conclude that if that straying sheep in the Lord’s church wanders far away and is missing for a long time, then “the church ought to withdraw from that sheep.”
I cannot deny that there is truth in that statement. But that is not why I wrote the block above. I wrote it for two purposes.
1. To point out the need for leadership in God’s church.
Last Monday I wrote about that need. I quoted Maxwell who said, “Everything rises or falls on leadership.” That is certainly true regarding the destiny of sheep! Sheep need leaders–shepherds.
2. To urge those who serve as shepherds in local congregations to go after their lost and straying sheep. It may be the case that loving leadership in the church is never more clearly demonstrated than when an elder devotes his heart and life to seeking sheep that have gone astray.
There was a story told of an elder who had worked with a brother who had gone astray. The erring brother seemed to be making progress and promised to be present at worship on Sunday. When the elder saw that he was not present, he left the church building and went and found the brother–and brought him to the service that was now almost over! The erring brother was so impressed by the shepherd’s devotion that he never strayed again.
Is the story true? Was the elder’s action too extreme? Should the elder have left services to seek a straying sheep? A lot of questions can be asked. But one thing that cannot be questioned was the shepherd’s determination to seek a lost sheep.
There is another story to tell–the story of a shepherd who left heaven to seek straying sheep. But we will save that for another time.
Blessings to you, my faithful friends,
–Max


“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (ESV)


And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ (ESV)