Sheep Out Of Place

September 19, 2019
Volume 23, Number 30

Our son took me on a trip to Colorado last month, my first time to visit that state. Among the amazing sights I saw was a family of bighorn sheep. They blended in well with their background, and were hard to spot. But seeing these animals deftly navigating steep canyon walls was just as I had seen on TV. They were right at home.

A very different sight was seen earlier this week in Chicago. An adult ewe sheep was found wandering through a parking lot, aggressively trying to butt people if they got too close. Authorities were called in, and for a few hours they tried unsuccessfully to capture the sheep. Finally it was tranquilized and transported to a rescue shelter.

Photos of that sheep show that it had no horns (it was a ewe, after all); it posed no real danger to anyone. But being in that environment was dangerous for the sheep. It was vital that someone rescue it before it was seriously injured – or worse.

Isaiah spoke of sheep out of place in his most famous prophecy: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way …” (Isaiah 53:6). Like that sheep in Chicago, we were destined for harm or death; we were out of place.

Why were we out of place? Jeremiah 10:23 gives the answer to that: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” To further underscore the danger we are in, consider Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” In other words, we get ourselves lost, and the harder we try to get home the more lost we become!

Are you ready for the good news? “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?” (Matthew 18:11,12).

Jesus came down from heaven on a rescue mission. He saw sheep out of place and in danger of fatally hurting themselves, and put Himself at risk in order to rescue them. Peter summed up the situation well: “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25).

Zacchaeus was a man despised by his community. When Jesus chose to go home with Zacchaeus others scorned the Lord’s decision. Why did He go with this sinful man? “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Let’s admit it: We’re lost and we can’t find our way back home. How wonderful, therefore, is the news that Someone is out looking for us! Let’s not refuse His help.

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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