Been thinking about these idiotic, selfish maskholes and their inane “lions not sheep” rallying cry. The majority of these numbnuts claim to be “Christians”, but I’m sure that they really have no idea what the Bible, or Jesus, actually says. Now I’m not going to talk about the selfishness, or stupidity, or lack of care for others, which I and others have written about before, but rather the fact that the only thing they’re really proclaiming is that they’ve never actually read the Bible.

So let's do that.  Let's read what the Bible says about lions and sheep.

If you look at the references to lions and sheep in the Bible, you’ll find that it’s not what we, and these fools, think it is. (As is the case with most things in the Bible, it just doesn’t conform to our selfish, foolish, western ideas.)

Let’s start with the lions. In the Bible, there are really only two individuals that the Bible refers to as lions: Jesus and Satan.

Twice in scripture Jesus is referred to as the Lion of Judah. The first occurrence is in Genesis, chapter 49. Jacob is talking with his sons and is prophesying over them what will happen to each of them. When he gets to Judah, he says:

“Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.” - Genesis 49:8-10

Now, without going deep into the genealogy of Jesus and prophetic theology, just know that He is from the tribe of Judah and this prophetic verse is referring to Him.

The second reference to Jesus as a lion is in Revelation where Paul writes in his vision:

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” - Revelation 5:5

Now again, we could go into deep into the imagery and symbolism of Revelations, but that’s really outside the scope of the point of all this.  Suffice it to say that in this verse (and others in Revelations), scripture again refers to Jesus as the Lion of Judah.

Interestingly, when C.S. Lewis wrote his epic Narnia Chronicles, which speculates “What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?” his representation of Jesus as a lion was no accident:

"Since Narnia is a world of talking beasts, I thought He [Christ] would become a talking beast there, as He became a man here. I pictured Him becoming a lion there because (a) the lion is supposed to be the king of beasts; (b) Christ is called "The Lion of Judah" in the Bible; (c) I'd been having strange dreams about lions when I began writing the work.”

So we see that scripture refers to Jesus as a lion. What about the other reference to someone as a lion?

We’ll start with the clearest reference in scripture. In his first epistle, Peter warns us that:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. - 1st Peter 5:8

There are a ton of commentary and articles written about this verse, but for our purposes, we’ll take it at face value and it’s pretty clear: Satan is a roaring lion who will destroy and devour.  But wait, that’s not all. There are a few other verses that symbolize Satan as a lion:

You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
Psalm 91:13

For I am bringing disaster from the north,
    even terrible destruction.”
A lion has come out of his lair;
    a destroyer of nations has set out.
Jeremiah 4:6-7

Additionally, throughout scripture, the writers continue to use the image of a lion for those who have abandoned God: those who are wicked and evil men:

As I have observed, those who plow evil
    and those who sow trouble reap it.
At the breath of God they perish;
    at the blast of his anger they are no more.
The lions may roar and growl,
    yet the teeth of the great lions are broken.
The lion perishes for lack of prey,
    and the cubs of the lioness are scattered.
(Job 8-11)

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
     like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
(Psalm 10: 2, 8-9)

So you get the picture that unless you’re Jesus (and I can promise you with absolute certainty that these people are not!), being portrayed as a lion in scripture is not a good thing. And yet, that’s what they insist they are.

Now let’s look at the other side of their claim, what they insist they’re not: sheep.

In our western thinking, sheep are weak, foolish followers. Something to be ridiculed and laughed at. So how does this line up with the image of sheep in scripture?  Pretty accurate actually.  With a twist.

When Jesus talked about His followers, those He loves and those who love Him, time and time and time again, He calls them His sheep:

Matt 9:36        When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matt 10:16      “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.
Matt 15:24      He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
Luke 15:6        Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
John 10:4        When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
John 10:14      “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—
John 10:26      but you do not believe because you are not my sheep
John 10:27      My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me
John 21:16      Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
1st Peter 2:25  For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

 

Get the picture?  So when these people state loudly and publicly that they are not sheep, all they are doing is proclaiming that they are not followers of Jesus.  They do not know His voice. They do not know Him.

But let’s look again at what we tend to think about sheep. As I mentioned, we think sheep are weak and foolish.  Something to be scorned.  So what did I mean when I said that was pretty accurate? I want to point out two verses in scripture that are appropriate to our perception of sheep:

In Matthew 5, Jesus gives his epic Sermon on the Mount and He starts the sermon with the beatitudes. Again, I’m not going to go into detail about them (although they are relevant to the topic at large, but there’s plenty of material out there that discusses them.  For starters, check out this quote by Kurt Vonnegut, of all people), but I do want to point out how he ends the beatitudes:

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. - Matthew 5:11-12

At the beginning of this article I told you that most things in the Bible just don’t conform to our selfish, foolish, western ideas.  This is a classic case in point. We think that sheep should be ridiculed and laughed at and that this is a bad thing.  However, Jesus says that not only are you sheep, but when people make fun of you for being a sheep, you should rejoice and be glad for your are blessed.  But what about sheep being weak and foolish?

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are. - 1st Corinthians 1:27-28

So yeah, as Gayle Erwin put it once “That’s us folks.  Weak and foolish.  It’s not on any of our press releases, but we know it’s true. These things that we think are a joke about sheep are the very things that God praises about us.

There’s one last reference to sheep in scripture that I haven’t talked about yet, but I think is the most telling.  Jesus’ parable about the sheep and the goats.  You know the story (or if you don’t go look it up and read the whole thing).

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
Whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Whatever you didn’t do for the least of these, you didn’t do for me.
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” - Matthew 25:31-34,41,46
.

Pretty straight forward, right?  Of course, the main point of the parable is that, as Keith Green once put it, the only difference between the sheep and the goats, according to this parable, is what they did and didn’t do. You see, part of the reason these jokers don’t want to be sheep is that being a sheep means you have an obligation to do things for the least of these. Who are these? People.  The people who are hungry, lonely, imprisoned, naked, homeless, poor, single mothers, outcasts. These are the people who Jesus cares about. And if we are His sheep, His followers, then we are required to care about these people as well.  Required to do something for them.  This is what separates the sheep from the goats.  The sheep from the lions.

Are sheep followers? Yes.  Is that a good thing? Also yes.

So what would you choose to be? A lion or a sheep? Think about it.

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