Sunday, December 2, 2012

Characteristics of the Goad and the Sheep, part 2

Characteristics of the Goat and the Sheep

Read Matthew 25:31-46

When Jesus comes back he will separate the sheep from the goat, which will you be?
Last month I presented the characteristics of goats and what we can learn from these traits.  This month I want to finish up the study by listing characteristics of sheep to help us see what God desires from His people.



  • Sheep are “follower-types” of animals. (Matthew 4:19 – God wants us to follow him and he will make us fishermen of men)
  • Sheep are relational and will link with 4 or 5 sheep while grazing. (Acts 2:42 – God wants us to continue in the work of the Lord and to fellowship one with another)
  • Sheep are passive animals. (Ephesians 5:21 & James 4:7- God wants us to be submissive to each other as well as to him)
  • Sheep are highly sensitive to smell and sound.  Their senses are very high. (Hebrew 5:14- God wants our spiritual senses to be high so that we can discern what is good and what is evil.)
  • Sheep seek touch of other sheep. Sheep also have a great demand to have physical contact with their keeper for survival. (John 15:4 – God wants us to abide in him for without him we are lost.)
  • Shepherds have contact with their sheep because they are aware of predators that will kill the sheep if they were not present. (Psalm 46:1 – God is our present help in times of trouble. He knows what will kill us and he is there to take care of us)
  • Sheep generally present few behavioral problems. (Leviticus 11:45 – God wants us to be holy because he is holy)
  • Breeding for sheep is easy and more successful and there are fewer complications with the breeding process mainly because of their social behavior. (Unity – Ephesians 4:13 – God wants us to dwell in unity because when we do that we bring about “birth” into the family with less complications and with more success.)
  • Sheep are tough animals where sickness is concerned.  However there are things the shepherd looks for to tell if his animal is sick or well.
  • If a sheep is healthy it will be evident in its habits.  Such as eating. It will eat and the more it eats, the more eager it will become in eating.  It will be eager to consume and the hunger will increase along with the eagerness. (Jeremiah 15:16 – God wants us to eat his word and the more we eat the more we should want to consume and to be eager to eat.  Our desire to consume God’s word should increase.) This is evidence that we are healthy to the shepherd.
  • Healthy sheep are active. (1 Corinthians 15:58 – God wants us to be always working for Him.  He wants us active in the work of the kingdom)
  • Healthy sheep love to climb and seek higher grounds. (1 Corinthians 2:10 – God wants us to grow.  He wants us to love to “climb” to higher grounds to deeper understandings in him.)
  • Healthy sheep are curious. Yet in their curiosity they do not wonder but will explore their living areas thoroughly so that they have little difficulty locating things. (2 Timothy 2:15-God wants us to study so that we have no difficulty in understanding the word of God)
  • Shepherds also look for these unhealthy signs in their sheep to help keep them from dying: isolating themselves (Hebrews 10:25 -God does not want us to forsake coming together, he knows this will lead to our death), Not interested in eating (Proverbs 19:15-God doesn’t want us forsaking the studying of his word for he knows we will lose our zeal for him), Lagging or depressed (Psalm 55:22 - God wants us to cast our cares on him, because he knows it is only through him that we can be sustained), Excessive time lying down and reluctant to move about (Proverb 19:15 – God doesn’t want us to be slothful because he knows we will become useless),  Anxiety and restlessness (Jeremiah 6:16 – God will give us the rest from our cares because he knows that we will be destroyed if we do not), Depraved appetites(1 Peter 2:11- God wants our desires to be for the things of God for he knows when we fulfill the desires “the appetites” of the flesh we will die and we war against our own souls).
These are signs that the shepherd looks for to help the sheep be as healthy as possible. (God is that shepherd and he gives us a detailed list of what healthy behavior looks like and we only have to follow to be as healthy as we can).
As you examine the difference between the goat and the sheep, seek God's help to exhibit the proper characteristics that is pleasing to Him.
Prayer: Lord help us to be like the sheep that seek the hand of the shepherd so that we can exhibit godly behavior.  Help us to be like the Lamb that gave Himself for our sins.  Help us to be like Christ. Amen.