Did you know that, according to many rabbis who lived around the time of Jesus, shepherds were the black sheep of the Jewish family? With little oversight or accountability, these drifters were tempted to steal sheep from other flocks or graze their flocks on private land. One Jewish father listed shepherd next to tax collectors as the most-despised occupations. Another wondered why God would call himself a shepherd in Psalm 23 if all the shepherds he knew were so ungodly.
Are any of you the black sheep in your family or your church? The person who stands out from the others due to your past choices or your present behavior? If so, have you ever wondered where you stand with God? If it’s too late to make things right with him? If you’ve lost your chance to be called his son or his daughter?
If so, listen to what God’s messenger said to the black sheep of Jesus’ time: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you” (Luke 2:10,11). Did you count the “yous” in that news? The good news that causes great joy is for all people, shepherds and you too. Jesus, the Savior, was born so that the most messed-up, sinful, broken, backward people could come back to the Good Shepherd and find a happiness that only God can provide. Will you call out to him today? He would love to welcome you home and lead you to the green pastures of forgiveness and peace.