Jesus Has No Bummer Lambs

Date: November 22, 2022

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. John 10:3-4

Once in a while, a mother sheep will reject one of her babies, kicking the tiny animal away and never taking it back.  That little lamb is called a “bummer lamb.”

Michael never knew who his father was.  His mother left him with his grandparents at birth and when they died, he went back to live with his mother who had married and had another son.  Michael never felt wanted.  When he heard about little bummer lambs who were rejected by their mothers, he said, “That’s what I am.  I’ve always been a bummer lamb.”

“When a bummer lamb is born, unless the shepherd intervenes, the lamb will die.  So the shepherd takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keeps it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the bummer can hear his heartbeat. Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock.” [1]

From then on, the bummer lamb will be the very first to run to the shepherd when he calls, for the lamb has been so close to the shepherd he knows his voice the best.

Jesus talked about the tender care of a shepherd for his own sheep. Thankfully for us, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me” (John 10:14). In Jesus’ flock, there are no bummer lambs. Yes, we are all broken in some way, but we are also all deeply loved by the Shepherd.  He desires each of us to live close to Him in His unconditional love, so that we recognize His voice and come running.


[1] Walsh, Sheila. “The Beauty of the Bummer Lamb.” The Stream, 30 July 2015,–ess7obGEfHDCIasVkhN7LDU.