“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (Jo 10:4-5).
The shepherd-flock relationship is complementary. As much as the shepherd has his or her role, so does every member of the flock.
The Pastor has a duty to lead and feed the flock. Reciprocally, the flock have a duty to heed their shepherd’s voice and to follow faithfully. These roles must not be reversed–sheep mustn’t try to lead the shepherd!
When we violate God’s order, we cause incalculable harm to ourselves and others. The problem with human “sheep” is that we think we’re wiser and better than we really are. It’s not accidental that God uses the sheep metaphor to depict the character, need and vulnerability of believers. The wisest decision any sheep can make is to faithfully follow a trusted shepherd. The worst decision you can make is to doubt your genuine shepherd.
Note the great example the saints of Thessalonica set for us all, “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Th. 1:6). That’s the way to go beloved!