“And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30)
The masses went to where they heard He was, if He moved, they followed, if they could not find Him, they searched until they did. And He had compassion on them.
Then, what say you to this verse? “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
I could be mistaken here, and probably am, but I have never heard of “wild sheep,” I have heard of wild horses, those that run free, as we have termed it, wild dogs and cats and nearly every other type of animal, but I have never heard of sheep in the wild with no shepherd.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
All of mankind, every person ever born has one of two shepherds, the very young, the innocent that die in the womb, and in some cases the mentally deficient all belong to God, His grace rests upon them, but there is a moment for the rest of us where Romans 3:23 becomes a truth. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Sheep can, we can choose our master my friends, and even though Ezekiel 18:4 is also a truth, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” the Almighty has seen fit to allow all mankind free will to choose their shepherd.
Most choose poorly.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
But there is another verse, in context as all the Scriptures must be understood, that in a sense questions the free will of the sheep, and it is this.
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” (John 15:16a)
Along with John 17:6 as well, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”
There are those that would negate these two verses and rely only upon those such as Romans 10:9. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
I do not care to broach this subject very often for it has no answer for mankind, it is hidden from us, and rightly so, for in a sense in the minds of some, it can obliterate fully our free will, it attempts to negate that the sheep can choose their shepherd.
When the Lord Jesus Christ said to each of the twelve, “Follow me,” not one of them hesitated because they were given to Him by the Father. Where then is free will?
Consider Luke 13:3, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
There is the free will of the sheep, there is the ability of the sheep to choose who they will call Lord and Master. Are some chosen against their will? Would they reject that calling if given just a few moments in hell and then just a glimpse of heaven? It is why this topic is not brought up very often, for it is for the Most High alone to know, and there would ne no need of Romans 1:17 to be revealed to us.
“The just shall live by faith.”
And there is another reason that those who will deny the truths offered to you in this short letter will not accept them as such, will not leave the fullness of this knowledge completely in the hands of our Father in heaven. If the Almighty chooses some for heaven, then in their mind, incorrectly, by default He must choose some for hell.
Did Lucifer have a choice? Did Judas Iscariot? Do any of the sheep? Does all of God’s creation have free will?
Is God alone Sovereign, is His the path we follow?
There would be no reason for Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” if mankind was not searching for a shepherd.
My friends, without free will, the Lord would have no reason to show compassion to any.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)