One dark night, the stubborn sheep decided he didn’t want to do what the shepherd told him to do anymore. So, the stubborn sheep crawled under the fence and started running away from the pasture. He could hear the shepherd calling him, but the stubborn sheep kept running.
The ground under the stubborn sheep’s hooves became rocky and sharp. He stumbled over the rocks, twisting his legs painfully. He scraped his knees and whimpered because it hurt. Out of the corner of his eye, the stubborn sheep saw his shepherd standing in the distance beside the edge of a large cliff. He could hear the shepherd calling him, but the stubborn sheep kept running.
The stubborn sheep ran into a forest, dark and scary. The trees thrashed him with their branches. He tripped over sticks. In the distance, a wolf began howling. Several more wolves joined the first wolf, howling their hunger at the sky. The stubborn sheep cried in fear, dashing as fast as he could through the forest. He spotted his shepherd out of the corner of his eye. He could hear the shepherd calling him, but the stubborn sheep kept running.
The stubborn sheep ran into a meadow that was covered in thorny briars. The thorns stabbed at his legs and face. The brambles clawed and tore at his fleece. He bleated at the pain. One big bush wrapped its branches around him. The thorns tangled in his fleece. He flailed and wiggled, but he was stuck. No matter what he did, he could not get himself free. He could hear the shepherd calling him, and the stubborn sheep couldn’t keep running.
The stubborn sheep slumped. He was exhausted. He couldn’t fight the thorns anymore. He bleated, calling for his shepherd to help him.
Instantly, the shepherd was at his side. “My foolish, stubborn sheep. You will always hurt yourself when you try to run. But I will never leave you even when you run away. I stood between you and the cliffs so that you wouldn’t fall when the ground became rocky. I stood between you and the wolves so that you wouldn’t get hurt when they chased you. I was here to free you when you cannot free yourself. I will never leave you even when you are stubborn because you are my sheep.”
The shepherd tenderly peeled away the thorns, cutting away the fleece when necessary to take away the burden. The shepherd gently picked up the humble sheep and carried him home.
Questions to think about:
- Are you ever stubborn like the stubborn sheep?
- Read Luke 15: 3–7, Isaiah 53:6, and Psalm 23 by yourself or with your parents. How are God’s people like sheep? And Jesus like our shepherd?
The stubborn sheep runs away from his pasture. Where does he run?