A friend was telling me about the adoption of a calf that had been separated from its mother. The calf had been a twin, and the mother had chosen from the time of the birth of her offspring to care for the other sibling. But the weaker calf died, and once it was gone, the mother cow no longer wished to tend to the living calf. So the calf was adopted by the compassionate next door neighbor. A special place in the yard was fenced and the woman fed the calf straight from a bottle.
Over time this calf and its caregiver grew to be very close. Sometimes it was treated almost as if it were a human. It had also been periodically placed among the sheep and would make sheep sounds now and then. After a while a donkey was put inside the calf’s fence in order to keep the coyotes away. Finally, it was decided that another older cow needed to be placed inside the fence. Why? Because the calf had never seen a reflection of itself. It didn’t know if it was a sheep, a donkey, or even a human. It needed to be with one of its own kind. It needed an example cow. Sometimes you need to have a cow.
When God created the heavens and the earth, He made the animals to be creatures after their own kind. They each had the seed within themselves to reproduce offspring and raise them to adulthood. Animals of similar kind congregated and became communities of creatures with a common identity and specific design. It was in God’s plan for every creature to know its kind and fulfill the purpose for which it had been created.
Human beings were created in the same way. The only difference was that they were also made with an eternal spirit, fashioned after the image of God. Ironically, they lost their identity and purpose and forgot who they were. So God created a new community. He fenced them in. And then He sent Jesus. Even then God’s people did not understand. It was only after the Son of God had died that they realized He had come to save them and to be their example. Jesus had been brought into the confines of the human world to save mankind from itself. He came to solve man’s identity crisis. He came to show the reflection of God and to be the ultimate example of the potential of men.
Every day in our world I meet people who are going through life without understanding who they are and why they are here. You see, it is entirely possible for you to exist in a pen. You can be fed with milk from a bottle. You can grow and mature into adulthood. You can live a long life and experience health and all of the blessings of the physical world. But if you don’t know what you are supposed to be, if you don’t have the right example, then you will never really know who you are.
That little calf needed a cow. And we needed Jesus. And we still need Him.
“As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him.” – Matthew 9:9