One of my favorite passages of Scripture is found in John’s Gospel. In it, Jesus used pastoral language to refer to Himself and His followers. He stated:
I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep. But I have other sheep that are not from this sheep pen; I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:14-16 (CSB)
I’m struck by the fact that the sheep in this passage have one Shepherd, the Good Shepherd. They follow him as one flock. They listen to Him and focus on Him.
As we enter into this election week, let us remind ourselves as Christ-followers of our identity as sheep. We are followers of the Good Shepherd. At the core of who we are, we are not elephants, donkeys, or any other animal that symbolizes a particular political party. We are to be unified in the gospel. No identifier should overshadow the identity that we have as sheep, followers of the Good Shepherd—Jesus Christ.
We must be careful not to allow politics to cause division among the flock. While we have a responsibility to live as responsible citizens of our nation, our ultimate identity is found in Christ as citizens of Heaven. Heaven will be filled with sheep for whom the Good Shepherd laid down His life. There we will not see the political identifiers that divide us; rather, we will be unified around the Lamb of God who shed His blood for us.
Scripture is consistent in admonishing believers to strive to maintain unity. Our unity only comes through the gospel. We are all in need of a Savior, and all rightly deserve condemnation for our sin. All of us can only obtain forgiveness of sin and eternal life through the righteous life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible calls us to live in gospel community as we share the good news of Jesus with people who walk in darkness. The Lord calls us to unity, even as He and the Father are one (John 17:21).
During this election week and into the future, let us seek to maintain unity in the gospel. Let’s remember our identity as sheep who, together as one flock, follow the Good Shepherd. We should look forward to Heaven, where sheep from other pastures around the world will worship the Lamb of God with us. There, we will not see elephants and donkeys, just sheep.