Sunday, 7 June 2020

A Parable for Today

There was a moment in that field with all that was going on; distressed sheep, concerned neighbours, a heart-broken dog owner, and a dying lamb, when I glimpsed a bigger picture. 

Late one evening tragedy struck at the farm.  From my work in the veg patch I heard a disturbance and rushed to the field where the worst thing for a shepherd to see was in motion; a loose dog was worrying the sheep, chasing ewes and lambs back and forth as they fled at top speed.  The whole flock was in panic while the dog owner looked on helplessly. I ran into the fray and, surprisingly, was able to grab and restrain the dog, (in retrospect either a brave or stupid action).  All of this took place in full view of neighbours who came out to see the commotion.

The next thing was to calm the flock and check for damage.  Most animals were fine, albeit traumatised, some a bit lame, but one lamb became the focus of attention.  The dog had caught and savaged it, tearing it open.  Though still alive it was obvious that we would have to put it down.  However, the lamb soon died, not directly of its wounds but of shock. There was a moment in that field with all that was going on; distressed sheep, concerned neighbours, a heart-broken dog owner, and a dying lamb, when I glimpsed a bigger picture. 
A picture that replaced anger with compassion in my heart.

Jesus is called the ‘Lamb of God’. Though completely innocent He was accused, attacked, abused and torn, dying as a sacrifice so we don’t have to.  Though His injuries were terrible it was not the cross that killed Him.  Normally it took days for crucified victims to die but after six hours on the cross Jesus cried out, ‘It is finished’, then gave up His spirit, dying not of His wounds but of a broken heart. 

I often explain to people that sheep are by nature predated animals, and that their apparently harmless pet is still a wolf and a predator awaiting release.  The message is this:  like dogs we humans have a veneer of respectability and goodness but inwardly are selfish sinners.  Given the wrong circumstances we turn on others and fight to get our own way.  It may be subtle but the evil nature is crouching ready to pounce when provoked. Greed, lust, jealousy, envy, anger, conceit, and fear, all features of man without God, cause us to fall short of His standard.

But God provided a rescue plan.  (1John 1:7-9)
the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We need to stop covering up, stop deceiving ourselves, and admit to God what we really are.  In Jesus there is forgiveness if we confess, and deep cleaning of all that offends Him.  Jesus gave His life so His blood could purify us.  Then He rose again and one day we will all meet Him.

Author: John Plumb

May God bless and enrich your life

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  1. A powerful Picture of Jesus the Lamb of God being torn open for us. The only difference is that unlike the lamb in this story Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be torn open for us. The greatest demonstration of Love, Praise Him. Great blog. Thank you.Be blessed.

  2. Thanks be to God that He can use even the most distressing circumstances to remind us of His love and of our ABSOLUTE dependence on His mercy.

  3. Thank you John. So televant to much of life at the moment. People being self focused when actually we need to be more focused on others and the needs of many. May God continue to bless you and Betty xxx

  4. Hi, I live in Coleshill and I enjoy walking through your farm. It is sad that this has happened and you have had to close off certain areas of the farm, but you need to look after your livestock and farm first and foremost!