MATTHEW 9:35-38 Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. 38Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest" (HCSB).

So often in our lives, we wonder aimlessly in our day to day routines as though we have nowhere to go but here. We have nothing to do except what we always done, and no one else to be except who we are now. But, the Bible teaches us something different. God calls us to be more than just here. He calls us to be His follower, His servant, His disciple – Sold out to Jesus - Growing in Him.

The reason we often don’t know where to go, what to do, or that we even have anywhere else we need to go, is because we are SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD. When we try to run our own lives, our own religion, or maintain our own comfortable way. We become our own shepherd. But, sheep cannot lead themselves. They must be led.

In Matthew 9:36, Jesus looked to the crowds and "had compassion on them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd" (HCSB) Jesus had come to be their shepherd, just as He has come to be ours. But, we must let Him lead us.

Notice three things that Jesus teaches us by His words and example in verses 35-38. First, we see Jesus teaching, preaching, and sharing the gospel. He was concerned for the spiritual needs of the people. Second, He cared for the physical needs by "healing every disease and sickness." Third....and this is the one that really gets us....He instructed His followers to DO THE SAME. If they (and we) were to be His sheep, He expected them to follow His example and lead others where He was leading them.

So many people we know are wondering aimlessly through life as "sheep without a shepherd." If we are truly following the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, we must also be following His example, authority, and compassion and we gather the harvest by leading others to our Shepherd. We cannot lead others as the Great Shepherd can. But, we can lead them to the Great Shepherd. If we are not willing to do that – we ourselves are "sheep without a shepherd." Will you follow Him and lead others to Him as well? Be His follower. Be His sheep.

*Copyright (January, 2002); James C. Guy – all rights reserved. -Permission granted to copy, use, and distribute for not-for-profit purposes (please include copyright).

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