Sinking without a Shepherd

By Pastor Paul, Bibles for Mideast

A sheep wandered away from the fold one day and before she knew it, ended up alone in the jungle. Suddenly, she noticed a wolf racing towards her. She turned and fled, fearing that at any moment the wolf would sink its claws into her. The sheep desperately looked for a way to escape and at last, spied a shallow pond. Barely evading the wolf’s reach, she jumped into the pond and in the heat of the chase, the wolf blindly leaped in after her.

To the surprise of them both, the pond was extremely shallow yet filled with deep recesses of mud. After toppling over each other, the sheep and the wolf found themselves a short distance apart, stuck in mud up to their necks. Both had their heads free, but were unable to get themselves out no matter how much they writhed.

The wolf repeatedly snarled at the sheep and roared, “I am going to enjoy the sound of crunching your bones between my teeth!”

He thrashed about in fury but soon became fretful as he found no prospect of escape.

The sheep thoughtfully laughed as the wolf struggled to free himself and asked him, “Do you have a master?”

The wolf disdainfully replied, “I am strong and am my own master. Why do you ask me if I have a master?”

 “You may be strong and all in the jungle, but here all your power has failed to save your life,” the sheep replied.

“And what about you?” retorted the wolf. “You are going to die here in this mud too!”

The sheep smiled mildly, replying, “No, I am not.”

“If even I cannot free myself from this mud,” snapped the wolf, “then how can you, an ordinary sheep?”

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 “I cannot free myself from this mud, but my master can,” the sheep gently replied. “When he doesn't find me with the fold as dusk sets in, he’ll come looking for me. Once he finds me, he’ll raise me up out of the mud, hold me safe on his shoulders, and take me home.”

The wolf fell silent, glaring coldly at the sheep.

Soon enough, as the sky began to darken, the sheep’s master arrived. He immediately recognized the plight she was in and lifted her to safety. And they walked home.

The wolf sadly looked at them and sank down into the muddy waters, his pride going under as well. Why was his own power no longer enough; where was his master, someone to save him?