"For goodness’ sake - don’t be such a sheep!!"
Have you ever been on the giving, or receiving, end of this slur? In our individualistic culture, sheep get a bad rap. Apparently, to be a "sheep" is to mindlessly follow along with the herd, reject thinking for yourself, and to remain indistinguishable from the bland creatures around you. Heaven forbid you get labelled a sheep.
Studies show, however, that the reality of sheepishness is quite different. Sheep have an excellent memory, their ability to recognize faces is similar to ours, they experience complex emotions, and within any herd of sheep you will find a wide range of personalities.
Jesus may not have had access to peer-reviewed sheep studies, but in today’s gospel passage Jesus even gives sheep credit for being able to do something that we humans often can’t - and that’s to recognize the truth when we hear it.
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