25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
A flock of sheep in the field is notorious for its tendency to wander about. When the flock has no shepherd, individual sheep can end up far away from their flock and in great danger. Like sheep, we are prone to wandering about aimlessly. We sin and lose our way, finding ourselves in all kinds of danger. As with sheep, we are in need of a shepherd to guard us and to keep us in the fold.
Jesus is the Shepherd who protects us and guides us. He is also the Overseer who is concerned with even the smallest details of our lives and lovingly restores us when we find ourselves far from His presence.
Take some time to reflect on your walk with Christ. Are you like the wandering sheep or the sheep that follows closely after the Shepherd? In what ways do you want to grow in your walk with Christ through this retreat?
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Seeing that Jesus is about to depart, a teacher of the law and a disciple approach Jesus. One expresses His desire to follow Jesus wherever He goes, and the other says he is willing to follow Christ if he can first go bury his father. Jesus does not either way; instead, He explains the cost of following Him. Following Jesus, both men learn, is not an easy task. Although it is not wrong to have a home, serve one’s family, or tending to other responsibilities are not wrong, Jesus takes precedence over all things. The cost of following Jesus requires sacrifice and undivided submission.
Consider how this retreat has been for you thus far. How have you counted the cost of following Jesus? Are there areas of your life that you put before Christ (e.g., family, work, school, personal success, etc.)? Reflect on how God has spoken to you through this retreat and examine how you can follow Jesus.