The Parable of the Shepherd
By Steven P. Wickstrom
Once upon a time there was shepherd who owned a pasture in far off land. Since the shepherd lived far away from the pasture, he had hired some men to watch over his sheep and take good care of them. One day he decided to visit his pasture to see how his sheep were doing. So he made the long journey to the far off pasture. When he came to the pasture, he was shocked when he noticed that all of the sheep were dead. Not one sheep of his flock was alive. The shepherd walked through the pasture looking around in dismay at the carnage.
He searched for and quickly found the men that he had hired to watch over his flock. They were lounging near a gate at the far end of the pasture. He started questioning the men whom he had hired and quickly discovered that the men did not care that the sheep were dead. The hired men requested their salary and said that they had more important things to do with their time than to watch over dead sheep. The shepherd became very angry and chased the hired men out of his pasture.
The hired men became disgusted with the shepherd and plotted to kill him. When they settled on a plan, they seized the shepherd and killed him. They dragged the shepherd out to the center of the pasture where they left his dead body. After all, they had other, more important things to do.
The spirit of the dead shepherd went down to the underworld where he fought with the king of the dead. It was a titanic struggle but the king of the dead was no match for the shepherd. The shepherd won the fight and was raised from the dead. The shepherd was now alive again. He went for a walk through the pasture looking at his dead sheep.
He opened the mouths of a few of his sheep and poured his life into them. Every sheep who accepted his gift became alive. The sheep ran around greeting each other and were very happy to be among the living again. Then they noticed something strange. Their wool was as white as freshly fallen snow. There was not a spec of dirt to be found on them. Not only that, but their wool glowed with white light.
The sheep ran up to the shepherd to ask him about their wool. That was when they noticed that the shepherd was also as white as fresh snow, and that he was also emitting light. The shepherd was in fact whiter than white and brighter than the sun. The sheep all bowed down and worshiped the shepherd. They all realized that the shepherd was God Himself.
The Shepherd smiled at His sheep and lovingly patted them on their heads. He explained to them that His life was flowing through their veins. Their hearts were pumping His blood throughout their bodies. His life was now their life because they had accepted His gift. It was His blood that made their wool spotless. It was His blood that shone through like pure light and made their wool glow. Because they had accepted his gift, they would now live forever. Then He gave them an assignment; they were to take His gift and give it to other dead sheep. The sheep were delighted and ran off to give the gift to the other dead sheep.
After a while, the sheep returned to the Shepherd. There were now many more white glowing sheep in the flock. They had questions for the shepherd. They wanted to know why only a few of the dead sheep would accept the gift. Most of the dead sheep did not want to become alive. They did not understand why anyone would pass up such a tremendous gift.
The shepherd explained to them that some sheep prefer to be dead. They think that being dead is more fun than being than alive. Other sheep don't know that they are dead; they think that they are alive even though they are not. He then explained that it was His desire that all dead sheep become alive. But He knew however that many dead sheep would not accept His gift. He sent His sheep out to the whole world to give His gift to any who would receive it. The sheep are still out there to this very day; freely giving the gift of the life.
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