I recently read a true story about a flock of fifteen hundred sheep. They all plunged to their deaths because fourteen hundred and ninety nine of them followed the one who was in front (another sheep) off a cliff. The shepherds who were watching them were distracted at the time leaving the sheep unattended to roam free.
It is common knowledge that sheep are defenseless animals with no real sense of direction. Even if they are placed in a perfect environment with food and water, they will still wander off and become lost. For this reason, sheep are always under the protective care of a shepherd. Sheep are also known to have strong herding instincts meaning when one moves, the others are inclined to follow. Sound familiar?
We all like to think that we are independent leaders in full control of our own thoughts and behavior. But if you are an observer of people, you will find that life tells a different story. It In all honesty, most people are followers. They allow themselves to be influenced by other people more than they want to admit. In many ways, we are very similar to sheep.
Most people are not comfortable making unpopular, stand-alone decisions that separate them from the majority for they fear rejection. They would rather take on the opinion of others rather than risk sticking out like a sore thumb or being ostracized. Rather than going through the effort it takes to do their own due diligence concerning a matter, they choose the path of least resistance and follow the status quo. They think, “If everyone else is doing it, then it must be the way to go.” Human nature is very much like sheep nature.
Jesus knew this which is why He referred to us in the Bible as sheep without a shepherd. If left alone, we wonder aimlessly. We think we know where we are going but in all honesty, we are amiss. Against the evil in this world, we are defenseless without the Shepherd’s wisdom to guide us and keep us safe. Jesus is the Master Shepherd. Think about it. No one is autonomous. One way or the other, we are all following someone. The question is: Who are you following?