Sheep in the Bible
Sheep are gentle, sensitive, intelligent creatures, who have much in common with humans and feature more in the bible than any other animal.
They are led by their shepherds to be the first witnesses of the birth of Jesus, and he often refers to himself as the good shepherd who tenderly cares for his flock.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I will lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:14-15)
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul." (Psalm 23:1-3)
"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:11)
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray." (Isaiah 53:6)
These are just a handful of verses, to which many more can be added. But they offer a reminder of how special these lovely, gentle animals were, and are, to our Lord.