Break a leg!

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41 responses to “Break a leg!

  1. Hi, could you please give me the original author of this story of the shepherd breaking the lambs leg. I have been looking for it for some time now.

    • The Catholic Church was where I heard this 40 years ago, it is regarding a picture of Jesus carrying a lamb on his shoulders. No person has ever provided proof of ANY shepherd actually doing this. It is a heretic fable. Many Musilms mutilate females for similiar reasons “so they will not stray”. Anyone filled with the Holy Spirit knows this is not a true bible or Christ teaching. (or even close)

      • Dean Reinheimer


        In light of the passage we started with:

        How enviable is the man whom God corrects. Oh, do not despise the chastening of the Lord when you sin. For though he wounds, he binds and heals once again. Job 5:17,18

        I’m don’t understand WHY you would say: “Anyone filled with the Holy Spirit knows this is not a true bible or Christ teaching. (or even close)”

  2. My Jesus does not break legs. He is in the healing business. If I decide to wander away, he will come and find me. If I persist, he will let me go and received whatever the world and satan inflict on me. When I come to myself, return to him seeking forgivness, he will welcome me back with a kiss. “His rod and staf “comfort me” because I know they are for my protection.

  3. I don’t know, John, that you fully grasp the idea. I don’t know if you are a parent or not, but do loving parents not punish their children because of the discomfort that it may bring them?
    God loves each human being, whether they call themselves His or not, but He still punishes us for the wrongs we have done that we might be closer. Better put, we must pay the consequences for our actions. I cannot go out, rob a bank, and expect to get off without punishment because I say that I’m a Christian and not subject to man’s law. Or if I were to have had a wild, party filled, drug laden era we call our teen years, I cannot expect to not pay for the consequences for wandering from what I knew growing up in church.
    And God won’t “let you go” if you persist in going down a destructive path. He is loving and patient – He will follow you all of the days of your life, sure He will allow hardship (or maybe even success) to find you in your flight from Him, but you will not be truly happy because you’ll know, deep down, that you’re running from the one person who loved you enough to die for you! The only reason you would stray because you don’t know all that the Shepherd had done for you. Sheep are easily startled and very needy animals. They have to be led (note: led, not driven like cattle) to pasture… and they can only be led because they know the Shepherd’s voice. The need “quiet waters” (from Ps 23) because loud and raging waters will frighten them or the current carry them away.
    From what I can tell you didn’t really understand the context of the Job passage that Del was referencing. If you do not believe God disciplines His children, read Psalm 94:12 and Hebrews 12:5-11, and tell me if either of the anonymous authors have convinced you that your “Jesus does not break legs.” My Jesus does; He heals them, too!

  4. Very well put Justin. I just taught on the parable of the lost sheep at church. I had my lesson prepared when I was informed of an accident my fellow pastors daughter had been in. He and his wife were returning from spending a week at a youth camp with our student ministry kids when they found out that their 19 year old daughter had been in a terrible accident. She has made many poor choices in her life and this accident was one that was a result of just such poor choices. Her injuries are quite serious and honestly her life is still hanging in the balance. I was reminded of the story of the shepherd breaking the leg of the sheep. I don’t believe that God caused the accident, but rather that it was the natural consequences of a teenager following a fallen life style. God does not deliver us from the consequences of our actions, but His grace and mercy certainly help us to overcome them. This young woman’s testimony is being built even as God knits her body together just as He did when she was in her mother’s womb. It may sound cruel, but I would rather have my child’s physical body hurt than to have them forever lost. In the book of Jeremiah it says that God knows the plans He has for us (plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future). This is the perfect will of God for all mankind, unfortunately sometimes we need to hit rock bottom before we recognize it as such.

  5. The broken leg is a metaphor for the brokenness we come to in our lives, when we stray from Gods’ provision of love and attempt do live on our own strength.This story touches my heart on a personal level … I am that stubborn lamb and God loved me so dearly, that Jesus broke my leg with His broken heart and tears. Lu 15:4 – “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” His love hurt me so good and I am forever grateful as Abba Father is forever faithful.

  6. Psalms 51:8

    Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

    This Psalm of David was written shortly after Nathan the prophet confronted the king about with his sin. David acknowledges that God (metaphorically) broke his bones.

  7. Our Shepherd is kind and gentle. And I have to agree with John on this one. This doesn’t go well with the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) story at all.

    The Lord I know would rather you wander off and eat in brown pastures to the point that you realize who is the real Shepherd in own’s life.

    The breaking of lamb’s legs contradicts with the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

  8. The loving shepherd who told the Parable of the Prodigal Son also said: If your eye/ear/hand causes you to sin, pluck it out/cut it off. Is that cruel? A wandering leg is worth breaking. The Good Shepherd did not spare his words when he addressed the scribes and the Pharisees who were also his lost sheep. It is too easy to regard these as doomed. Such a belief is contradictory to the Bible teaching that Jesus died for all.

  9. God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. When the shepherd breaks the leg, he does it carefully out of his love for the sheep and he will do it in a way to hurt but not maim.

    The story of the prodigal son speaks of a loving father who is willing to accept a wayward son, so long as he is willing to repent and come back to his side.

    Just because this story does not agree with one specific story in the bible does not invalidate it altogether. If we can reconcile the idea that Jesus is both the Lamb of God, and the Lion of Judah at the same time, why not Jesus as the loving, caring and nurturing shepherd, and the Shepherd who breaks the leg for a greater good?

    • I would like to ask a question: Are you a shepherd? Have you ever owned sheep? I will answer for you- NO. I have owned sheep for about 23 years now, no many REAL shepherds that all agree this never happened. We shepherds all know this is a wise tale (a false story)that originated in the middle east. No real shepherd has ever done this in history, seriously.This is a teaching satan would like to allow into church pulpits. Remember after Jesus arose he walked with the disciples and later they said (Luke 24 Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way) This is true with the word of God. However this story does the opposite, it does not align with the truth or our hearts. I am so blessed to be a shepherd over 200 sheep so I can understand the relationship that Jesus Christ was speaking about. I will form my spiritual views based ONLY on the bible and not on a false wise tale. I hope this helps your understand. If anyone ever finds a Shepherd that breaks legs I would love to hear real proof. But I will call animal abuse, sheep are a very docile and loving animal.

  10. The style of writing is very familiar . Did you write guest posts for other blogs?

  11. Well, I can tell you one thing…this story about breaking a leg is NOT in the bible… but psalm 23 is…

    A wise person said you have to enterpret the bible through what Jesus did..He came to show us who God is…

    John 10;10

    One time when my daughter suffered a very violent bleeding I screamed at God and said: YOu killed my Grandma and now you are going to kill my daughter?

    I heard the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit saing.I DID NOT kill your Grandma.

    After that I found out who God really is. Our savior. SOZO salvation means a lot of GOOD things. If it is not in heaven GOD doesn’t Have it. Even in Job you see who does the hurting and who does the restoring. My God is good..there is NO changing in Him. THAT is what makes Him different from other gods. Remember He is the GOOD shepard….not the breaking legs kind of shepard..

  12. Check out this little known interesting fact!

    Is it true that shepherds sometimes break a lamb ‘ s leg to prevent it from wandering off?

    It is not true that any shepherds break a lamb ‘ s leg on purpose.

    What they sometimes do in certain sheep-raising nations is to “brake” a leg. This means they attach a clog or weight to the animal ‘ s leg, which keeps certain “rogue” sheep from getting too far from the shepherd until they learn their names, and not to be afraid of the shepherd.

    Rogue sheep are those that won ‘ t stay with the flock–important to their safety. A single sheep that constantly moves out and away from the others is the certain target of predators, and often is at risk of wandering out of sight (over a hill, into the brush, etc.) in terrain where the shepherd is unable to count the sheep properly. Then the sheep would be surely lost.

    Each shepherd looks after from about 1200 to 3000 sheep. When they ‘ re constantly moving, such large numbers are impossible to count with precision.

    To keep track of such large numbers of sheep, they must be corralled, and then “passed under the rod,” which means the shepherd has them in a narrow chute that enables each sheep to be counted one by one, and even marked with paint, charcoal, etc., for further work if necessary.

    The leg brake is a temporary measure; a lamb with a braked leg (it ‘ s not a “broken” leg!) is still easy pickings for predators at night, because it can ‘ t run as fast as the flock when under attack, and shepherd usually can ‘ t see predators in the dark.

    Praise Jesus we have a Shepherd who neither sleeps nor slumbers at night….A Shepherd who is our light in darkness….a Shepherd who will never ever allow predators to have the better of us….a Shepherd who constantly watches over us…a Shepherd who always responds to our cries for help…A Shepherd who truly cares and tends to us…

    THINK ABOUT THIS: If you are a Christian, this just does not sound right, does it? Do some research. This comes from the Cathlic picture/stained glass windows of Jesus carrying a lamb on his shoulders. I was taught this in the Catholic Church as a child. Since I have been born again, I have spoken to many shepherds who all say this would never happen.I found on the internet where the story was then put into a sermon first recorded by William Brannen in 1958. This will be quoted by Jim Jones and David Koresh type pastors who want total control over their followers instead of allowing the holy spirit to lead them. If your pastor is telling you this and quotes things like “obey them that have rule over you” BEWARE. Reverend Sun Myung Moon also had teachings of this (first Unification Moonies). It is not bible and a true heretic teaching that should never be allowed into a church that believes in Jesus Christ. — Jesus our shepherd laid down his life for us, never wounded us. He was wounded for OUR transgressions. Please read your bibles

    • Stephen, your words are as the words of a Pastor/ Shepherd. You are correct. Please remember one key point. Our spiritual views should be based on SCRIPTURE ONLY as yours are. May God Bless You

  14. I am a real shepherd I would never do this as this simply never happened. Think about the logistics alone. We in the “shepherd community” know this is a false teaching/story. I beg Christians to read their bibles, they will then never embrace such a false teaching as this. Proverbs 3:5 Lean not to thine own understanding…. This is a man’s reasoning not the truth of the word of God, the bible; therefore all Christians should dismiss this as what it is, a heretic lie

  15. what if it wasn’t a disciplinary action to break the legs of the sheep. what if the idea behind the breaking of the legs was to create a sheep that followed the shepherd. sheep are habitual followers. they follow whatever sheep is in front of them. the shepherd creates a lead sheep by breaking it’s legs. the shepherd carries that sheep everywhere. so now that sheep’s senses are enveloped in the shepherd. every time that shepherd talks, that sheep not only hears the shepherds voice, but it feels the warm vibrations. as it hangs around the neck, it feels the shepherds heart beating. so after the sheep is healed, every time it hears the shepherds voice it comes running. cuz it remembers when it was safe and even tho there was pain and hurt, it remembers safety.

    secondly, when are we as christians going to stop taking scripture out of context to fit the mold of what we want it to say? and who’s to say what it exactly means? jewish rabbi’s teach that the scripture is like a gem. if you hold it up to a light, the light is refracted in one direction and its beauty shown. but if you turn that gem slightly, there is a whole new angle of that gems beauty shining through. so why do we fight as “religions” about who’s right and who’s wrong? why can’t we take wisdom from other cultures and put an end to this bickering? cuz my bibles reads that Jesus didn’t come for me healthy. i believe Jesus himself boldly spoke the words, “i’ve come for the sick.” so there’s sick people out there dying to hear that there’s healing and we who carry the prescription are bickering about who’s right. but you do whatever helps you sleep at night. i’m going to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. i’m going to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. i didn’t write this make myself feel good about what i do, or what i want to do. i wrote it in hopes that some people would join me. and the few that are actually fighting for this.

  16. I do believe in LOVING divine discipline. Here is the Bible evidence:

    Revelation 3:19, 20
    “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

    Proverbs 3:11,12
    “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

    PLEASE READ THIS: Hebrews 12:7-11
    “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

    Yes, there is such a thing as divine discipline. The method by which God disciplines is also listed in the Bible. He often let the enemies of Israel win them in battle, require payment of tribute, steal their crops, and even to take them into captivity. The discipline of the Lord is usually by allowing evil to happen: he removes his protection, and things happen. But that’s not always the case.

    Consider the story of the flood; it was not Satan that inflicted it. How about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? The angels said they were sent to destroy those cities. Once again it was God doing this. How about the death of Nadab and Abihu? (Leviticus 10:1,2) How about in the New Testament, the death of Ananias and Safira? (Acts 5) How about the fire from heaven that Elijah called for that consumed the 100 soldiers coming to arrest him? (2 Kings 1) Was this Satan? How about all those Philistines that got sick and died when they handled the Ark of the Covenant? (1 Samuel 5) Who killed the first born in Egypt? Who killed the 185,000 Assyrians in King Hezekiah’s days? (Isaiah 37:36)

    Here is an interesting story in the Bible: In 2 Samuel 24 King David was given a choice between several disciplines and he chose the quickest one: Plague. It killed 70,000 Israelites in only three days! That’s a lot more than those killed on 9-11-01, in a country with a fraction of our inhabitants. God sent his angel, once again.

    What does all of this mean? God is surely a God of love. That’s very clear in the Bible. Because of this he is also a God of discipline: that is, loving discipline. Yes even the “breaking leg” type of discipline.

    • I agree with you. My mother told me that in the hills of Derbyshire where she grew up 2 hikers came across a sheep which was trapped in an isolated rock crevass.
      Tehy told the local shepherd and they were shocked when he told them he knew but would have to leave it a little longer to break its wild spirit as it would always get into dangerous situations. He kept checking on the sheep over a day or so until it stopped struggling and he would be safely able to get it out without it jumping to its death.
      23 rd Ps. says “thy road and thy staff they compfort me.”
      A rod is definitely for discipline and maybe even the staff. In today’s world discipline is not appreciated. I managed many different people in a 3rd world country. One thing which was consistant. Everytime I had a great worker who listened to instruction I would carefully asking him or her without leading the question and eventually I would usually find that they had been disciplined by a father that they also remembered had spent time having fun as well with them as well. The only other exceptions were people who had suffered real hardship from life experiences. Not everybody learns from these things if they just become bitter.

  17. I have read the story and I understand the meaning. I have read the comments and agree with them all but we are talking about a Christ who said that He came bringing a sword. The cross is offensive to the self righteous because it says you are a sinner and deserved death but Christ died for you. If you have read the bible at all, Israel spent a lot of time in captivity because they turned their back on God and His Law. What grace does is save us from absolute death because God can’t not stand sin and He demands holiness. When we refuse Him, He gives us over to our sin (Romans 1). Paul said because we are saved should we continue in sin? God forbid (Romans 6). We are to be conformed to the image of Christ, Christ suffered so much and what excuses us from suffering? John 15, my God breaks off the branches that bear no fruit and prunes those that bear fruit so they bear even more fruit.

    Hebrews 12
    God Disciplines His Sons
    1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

    4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
    “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
    6because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”[a]

    7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

    12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13″Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
    Warning Against Refusing God
    14Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

    18You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.”[c] 21The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”[d]

    22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

    25See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[e] 27The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

    28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29for our “God is a consuming fire.”[f]

    Yes God loves you and He loves you to much to let go to far. If you are saved then you are no longer a slave to sin. You are God’s elect. Yes He doesn’t want to hurt you so He saved you from DEATH! Humble yourself please, its pride that makes us think we don’t deserve suffering. That is a lie from the pits of hell. We deserve nothing. Rev 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.[b]

    So before your birth you had already killed Christ, what happens to murders? Yet God give us grace and mercy. That my friends is the Gospel, I will suffer for my Lord and lay down my life. I will take my trials and tribulations because God has adopted me and called me son because of Jesus suffering and death. What is earthly suffering, what is a broken leg if I have Christ?

  18. It is hard to beleive that my loving Father would break my leg. That is a strong phrase.

    But when I think of this in terms of God’s permissive will, it makes sense in a way.

    Because God permits things to happen does not mean he is the agent of it. I know he has the power to stop them if he wanted to so it is His permissive will.

    If by the gift of free choice, he allows us to make the wrong choices that leads us to harm. He is still the Good shepherd who will bind up our wounds and lead us back to safety. I believein his permissive will he will not allow you to get more pain that you can handle.

    In the same way he say that we are His sheep and no one can snatch a sheep from his hands. Not even our self. The Lord is my shepherd.

    John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

  19. The reason I said “anyone filled with the Holy Spirit would know this is not really a bible story” is this: IT IS NOT IN THE BIBLE!!!!

  20. There is a lot of powerful thoughts here. So I thought that I would add some.

    I still do not know if the story is true that shepherds would “Break a lamb’s leg” to keep it from wandering which was the reason I found this blog to begin with. I do believe that God allowed me to break my leg four years ago to bring me closer to him and his Church. I used the time to read and study my faith. I learned that we cannot read too much into one bible verse but read the entire bible and read any particular verse in light of the whole bible. It is meant to be read as a seamless garment, taken as whole and not to be cut into pieces.

    I believe God is a Loving God who loves us so much he will correct us if we are open to correction. If we close our minds to him, he will let us walk away and find our just rewards. Sin brings its own punishments. In our misery, if we call out to him, he will hear us a guide us back. There is ample evidence of this in the bible as already pointed out.

    I am still on the journey, but I know I am on the right road.

    Now, can anyone tell me where this story truely came from? Yes I know it’s not in the bible.

  21. Seriously, it is from the Catholic church. Near as I remember my grandmother telling it: there was a painting/stained glass to show Jesus carrying the 1 lost sheep (left the 99 to find). Some heretic came up with this version. Many also believe Agnostic stories such as the Gospel According to Thomas. However this issue split our church. I owned sheep for a years and know this is unlike God. William Branham taught it in 1958;, Also see: If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ I wish to very gentle, if you claim to be a believer and still insist this story has any value I will pray for you. Jim Jones and David Koresch both had many followers that shared and accepted these views. Strange enough Jesus “had not one bone broken”. Why not do this to dogs etc?? Because it makes no sense, totally disagrees with the story of the Prodigal Son, Isaiah 40:11, “Good Shepherd whom LOVES his sheep”.. AND Jesus Christ FREE WILL of man.
    This story would be included in the bible if it were of any value. I think we should stay within the 66 books and leave everything else that was not canonized (like the 7 books the Catholics add) out period. If you insist on teaching this after reading this, I am charging you before the Lord, you know the truth!!

  22. Dean Reinheimer

    @ Steve Geary:

    With as much respect as I can offer Steve, I must say I disagree.

    It seems to be that the idea of a truly loving heavenly Father is NOT inconsistent with the idea and practice of chastisement which we must differentiate from “punishment”.

    “Punishment,” FOR SIN, was COMPLETED… DONE… FINISHED… END OF STORY at the Cross when Jesus died for the sins of the world John 1:29; 4:42; 11:51, 52; II Co 5:18,19; I John 2:2; etc., etc.

    The way I look at it is that Chastisement is God’s way of saying, “Hey, you’ve crossed a boundary that I’ve set. You’re gonna get hurt if you do it again. I love you to much to let you do it again so I’m going to ‘spank’ you,” as it were.

    Steve, do you take issue with the Scriptural doctrine/teaching of the chastisement of God’s children?

    I understand that the illustration of breaking a sheep’s leg is outside the realm of Scripture (I wasn’t aware it had its origins in Catholicism). Yet the illustration (and that’s TRULY all it is) is sound and agrees with what Scripture teaches and agrees with the revelation of God we have been given.

    The Apostle Paul spoke of this kind of thing when he reminded the Corinthian saints of what happened to Israel in the wilderness.

    This isn’t the forum to go deeply into the sexual immorality Israel committed with the Moabites in Numbers 25 (I’d encourage you to check it out), but Paul uses their experiences as examples for you and I in the Body of Christ today! (cf. I Co 10:1-14).

    God made some promises to the nation Israel and because He is faithful and cannot lie and is sovereign to do what He has promised, He can (and does) chastise WITHOUT breaking He promises! Bear witness to the history of Israel!

    The parallel to breaking a sheep’s leg to encourage that sheep from wandering off into places, situations and circumstances that are less-than-beneficial is not contrary to Scripture OR the character of God.

    Oh, there is so much more I feel I wanna say on the subject, but for now I have probably said too much already!

  23. I have been reading most of these comments. I belive in Jesus Christ with my whole heart. I believe he is a loving and compasionate God but he also is a God of wrath. God longs for a relationship with us that is totaly devoted to him. If we get off track and “wander away” he will get our attention in some way. I like this illustration because I have been able to see how this relates to my own life. I have had an extremely rare and weird problem in my arm that is beyond doctors abilily to fix. I had been falling away from him for a long time and I was not folling God at all. Shortly after I was diagnosed with my ingury I felt uterly hopeless. Once I was told that my arm could not be fixed I started to look to God. It made me relize that I had been running away from God and all he wanted was a relationship with me that would be glorifying to him so I believe he allowed me to get the injury because he wanted to show me that he is the only way, truth, life, and the ultimate healer. He got my attention just like in the ILLUSTRATION the shepard got the sheeps attention. This example of the shepard and the sheep, is a mere EXAMPLE and nothing more!! The story its self is not in the bible but it is indeed a good exaple of how God is also a God of wrath and how much he wants us to follow him. It paints a good picture in our minds of what the scriptures in Job, hebrews, etc. say. NO, I am not saying what so ever that it is in the bible. It is definitely NOT!!! But it is a good earthly example. and it doesn’t matter if a “real” shepard actually break sheeps leg or not in real life. It is basically a figure of speech and an illustration and that is all. We all have our own opintions on this and it can be taken several ways and this is just my opinion.

  24. Dean Reinheimer

    Tara, thank you for sharing that little bit of your soul with us! I rejoice with you in our God & Savior and thank Him with you in how He has worked in your life like this.

    There are many experiences I could share of this very nature and I am willing to guess that others, who have a focus on their need for and relationship with Jesus will agree.

    Thanks again, Tara! As the Lord bring you to mind, I will keep you in prayer… that He and His incredible sovereign will both be glorified in & through you!

  25. Growing up on a farm, I find it hard to believe that someone would intentionally break an animal’s leg just to make it dependent upon its master. I find that treats are quite effective at behavioral conditioning, without the leg breaking. Also, if I was shepherd I would invest in a sheep dog instead of carrying around a helpless animal on my shoulders under the penetrating sun. What is the dog-less shepherd to do when he has two sheep going astray?
    Anyway, I have my doubts about the story and I would like to see some proof that shepherds actually practice or once practiced this act before I believe it.
    Also, I don’t see how this story jives with the Holy Bible. The shepherd that breaks legs is forcing the sheep to obey; however, God does not force us to obey. It’s our choice to follow the Word. That’s the beauty of the Bible.

    • In today’s farms there are fences etc. and most likely are in fairly safe terrains in many parts of the west. Israel and many other places the terrain can be rocky and until fences being commonly available it is quite likely that this system of herding and control would be used. Not everyone would have had the money to maintain a dog. We cannot state catagorically that if this is not done in our society it was never done. I have lived in other cultures and many other countries would not considered cruel to prevent an animal from endangering its own life by curbing it from danger.
      You would have to ask people of the middle east or Africa.
      Deut. 28 talks of the blessings over Israel but later the cursings if they (Israel) do not obey God. He does not change but His ways are higher. Therefore He set conditions. If they sinned. He is the same yesterday today and forever.
      We have to accept God as He is. We are the ones in need of change.

  26. anointedplace

    I think people are missing the point and its causing some to paint a picture of God that they can live with instead of accepting God as He is. Has anyone ever heard of sanctification? Or has anyone ever really read their bibles and not just the verses that they like or agree with? I grew up believing that all things that are bad that happens to Christians is of the devil. I was taught that only good things happen to believers. I never understood that the greatest sin a man could ever commit is the sin of pride. To believe that you are good and desire only good things. To believe that you are not sinful is to spit at the cross. Jesus came for the unrighteous not the righteous. If you can’t understand that we are not good nor righteous; that God calls us and we will never choose Him on our own because as long as your pride says that “my god would never hurt me to straighten up my life” you have no clue what the Gospel of Jesus Christ means and what it says about us.

    Deuteronomy 8:1-5
    1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

    So I guess a good God didn’t do this? I guess some would say that this is the God of the Old Testament right?

    2 Corinthians 1:6-9
    6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

    8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead

    Are you all still not convinced yet?

    Mark 9:42-50 (this is Jesus speaking)

    42″And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. 43If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.[c] 45And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.[d] 47And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48where
    ” ‘their worm does not die,
    and the fire is not quenched.'[e] 49Everyone will be salted with fire.

    50″Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

    Do you understand now? It better that you enter into heaven with a broken leg and receive a new body rather than enter into hell whole.

  27. Is anyone aware whether the Jewish sages agree with this story regards breaking the leg of a wandering sheep ? I cannot find it in Rashi, probably their greatest interpreter.

  28. Not a single place in scripture tells us that shepherds broke the legs of their sheep, carried them on their shoulders, & fed them by hand all for the intent of teaching them to stay nearby.

    In Luke 15 is tells us that the shepherd “joyfully puts it (sheep) on his shoulders and goes home.” It doesn’t say that the shepherd joyfully finds it so he could break it’s leg and teach it a lesson.

    Just because you heard a someone say it before (yes, even a pastor) doesn’t make it true. Study the scriptures for yourself.

    For the guys using scripture that talks about God disciplining those He loves… absolutely yes God does, but please understand this: NO WHERE IN SCRIPTURE does it say that shepherds break sheep’s legs. It just isn’t true.

    Please quit typing your outlandish lies!

    • First of all, no where in my writing did I in any way imply that the story came from the Bible. I called it an “anecdote.” In fact, in my opening line, I questioned whether or not the story was true.

      Now, I suggest you read Isaiah 53. It’s a prophesy concerning Christ. It speaks of him being wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. And in verse ten from the NIV, it says “it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer…” Crush who? Jesus, the Lamb of God. Jesus the Lamb vicariously took our sins upon himself, therefore, the crushing, inflicted by God, was punishment for those sins. Think about it!


  30. Experienced sheep

    Acts 14:22
    22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

    Matthew 10:21-22
    21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
    22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

    Matthew 10:38
    38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

    Matthew 16:24
    24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    Luke 22:28-29
    28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
    29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

    Luke 24:26
    26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

    John 12:25-26
    25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
    26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

    John 16:1-2
    1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
    2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

    John 16:33
    33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

    Romans 8:17
    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    1 Thessalonians 3:4
    4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

    2 Timothy 1:8
    8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

    2 Timothy 2:11-12
    11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
    12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

    2 Timothy 3:12
    12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

    1 Peter 4:12-16
    12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
    13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
    14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
    15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
    16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

    Revelation 2:10
    10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

    Revelation 7:14
    14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

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