Have you ever heard that thing pastors say about how shepherds in the Middle East will break the legs of their sheep if they run away? Of course you have. Pastors always say that thing. I heard it from pastors and Bible teachers in the church I grew up in. They say that if a sheep runs away from the flock, the shepherd will go find it, and then break its legs so that it won’t run away anymore. Then they spin the whole thing around by saying, “Jesus said He was the Good Shepherd, which means that sometimes He might break your legs, but it’s for your own good.” What!? In other words, what they’re saying is that if I sin, Jesus is going to punish me or hurt me in some way, but it’s so that I don’t do that thing again. I think that is a giant load of garbage. First of all, no shepherd has ever broken the legs of his sheep in the real world, ever. My pastor has met shepherds from Galilee and they would laugh at the idea of physically harming this animal they love, care for and need. Not only that, but when Jesus talks about sheep running away, He says He goes after them through the long night and brings them home rejoicing. In John 10, when Jesus talked about being the Good Shepherd, He said this: “The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” I don’t know why bad things happen in my life, but it’s not because I’m being punished for my sins. Jesus bore all the punishment for my sin with His death on the cross. When I run away, He brings me home in joy.