Monday, November 6, 2006

On His Shoulders

In one of Jesus' most familiar parables, there is a sentence that often gets overlooked. Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd who goes to great lengths to rescue a lost sheep. This is the line I love: "And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home." (Luke 15:5-6) Now, if we had written this parable, we might have scolded the sheep and chased him back home. Maybe the sheep would have raced ahead of Jesus back to the flock. Something in us would have wanted the sheep to get home in his own strength, but that's not what Jesus said. Jesus seemed to indicate that the only way home is on His shoulders. A few months ago I was looking at our golden retriever, and for some reason, I just felt like putting him up on my shoulders. I lifted him up with the fireman’s carry - his two front legs over my left shoulder, his two back legs over my right shoulder. He looked pretty awkward. It was not his favorite moment, I'm sure. I kept saying, "Relax, relax." Sometimes it isn’t easy for us to be carried on Jesus’ shoulders..... to give up control and to let Him lead. Nonetheless, He keeps saying, “Relax, relax … you’re not going to make it in your own strength.” The only way home is absolute trust.... on His shoulders.

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