John 10:11-18 Wolves and Sheep
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Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them.”
Fashions come and go, but being fashionable does not. Music artists come and go, but the Sound of Music lingers on. Empires and emperors of great lands come and go, but the land doesn’t. Like so many things in life, faith in God may come and go but God does not go away. Christ’s faith in us remains solid, like a rock, even when ours is blasted and scattered.
Fortunately, the Catholic Church has never gone out of style; the reason being it has never been in style. The music artists singing her praises with so much beauty may come and go, but her tune has never changed. She remains forever out of tune; off key; off beat. The goose stepping soldiers marching from the East as well as the West (unified only by their opposition to her) thought they had what it took to knock The Church off her feet. But two feet on the ground are better than one swinging in the air. It turns out they never had the lasting power that Mother Church has commanded; and that is a great mystery considering she has always been, at worst, out of step with everyone; lagging far behind the times, and at best, stepping on powerful men’s and women’s toes.
The Good Shepherd defends his own, his flock. He knows what exactly lies ahead of them: Wolves. So He speaks and we listen. But not all do. He directs and we follow. But not all do. Yes, Emperors come and go, enemies come and go and even lambs come and go. But wolves seem to be different. They always seem to be around us. I forgot to mention that there is one more thing that never seems to change and that is wolves; wolves dressed in Shepherd’s clothing.
All wolves, like some people, will do anything to survive.
The world is an open stage and everyone is competing for Christ’s role. The field is open and everyone is competing to be the Good Shepherd. But they are all frauds. They are all wolves in Christ’s clothing.
Recently, Dan Savage, an active homosexual and a self-described “cultural Catholic”, was the keynote speaker for a large group of young American journalists attending a convention on the subject of bullying. Mr. Savage was invited to be a good shepherd to this flock of high school students. But for most of his talk, this Crusader for bullies behaved just like a true bully. He divided his classmates (audience) and bullied a certain group; in this case, the Christians. This modern day Lord of the Flies hurled insult upon insult upon an innocent group of kids. He insulted their Sacred Scriptures. He insulted, using profanity and vulgarity, their beliefs. He created such a hostile division among the students that some cheered while others walked out. Isn’t that what bullies do? Not only did he ruin these kids day, but he insulted their parents and educators that invited him; that hoped he would have been a good shepherd of these souls. He insulted intellectuals by taking a “fundamentalist Christians” point of view of homosexuality and placing that label on all Christians. Could we not do the same with homosexuals? Could we not take the nun-dressing homosexuals or stone throwing homosexuals in California and label them all like that?
Of course, Mr. Savage apologized, just in the nick of time. But he did not apologize to Christians. Instead, he apologized to the feeble minded organizers of this event. I say feeble minded because these weak minded organizers, instead of calling him out for his bigoted comments, decided to put a convenient spin on them. They said that this wolf in sheep’s clothing had given the students “an educational opportunity” to be journalists.
There you have it! Here’s a real life difference between “a good shepherd” and “a hired man”. The organizers, like too many educators today, are not at all interested in shepherding. Rather, they are in it for the money. Christ said, “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf and runs away.”
This reminds me of another recent episode. A middle school science teacher was dismissed after it was learned that she starred in a pornographic movie. The school dismissed her from teaching not for moral or ethical reasons, but because “she might be a distraction for her students.” Oh the things we will say when our very own children are not in danger of corruption.
When I used to work at Kodak, we were told to attack issues (ideas), not individuals. But what happens if you don’t even bother attacking the issues? The answer is pretty obvious now at Kodak: Bankruptcy. And that is exactly the state of our families, schools, cities, states and nation. We are a bankrupt society.
“Tolerant” people insist that they only attack issues. But they don’t. They attack people. And they attack people because they really don’t want to talk about the issues.
That’s what happened to Jesus. That’s exactly what is happening to Christians today.