Breaking the Sheep’s Leg

Another Perspective on The Good Shepherd

I recently read about an old, but unproven and possibly only folklore, custom from biblical times. If a shepherd had a sheep, or a lamb that continually strayed from his flock he would break the animal’s leg. It made me wonder how, if it were true, how it might alter perception of The Good Shepherd; Jesus.

From the little I’ve discovered about it, it seems to be a case of being cruel to be kind, because after the shepherd broke the sheep’s leg, he would care for that sheep individually, himself. He set the leg in splints until it healed and when necessary he’d carry the sheep on his shoulders, no easy task, so that it wouldn’t have to walk. Over the time it took the leg to mend, the animal would learn to depend on the shepherd, so that even after it had fully healed it would stay close to him.

So far as we know, the only things Jesus broke were pre-conceptions, rules made by corrupt priests more interested in themselves, or those that cared more about ritual and tradition than the people they were supposed to minister to.

The nearest Jesus might have come to hurting someone, was probably when he overturned the moneychangers tables in the temple. Even then it would have been accidental, in the heat of the moment if an overturned table happened to land on someone’s foot.

We know that Jesus was never cruel and so far as we know he was never cruel to be kind either. In todays parlance, it might have been called ‘tough love’. Jesus never resorted to it but it makes me wonder, what if?

‘Yes of course it hurts, torture is supposed to hurt but you
do know we’re doing it for your own good …don’t you!


One thought on “Breaking the Sheep’s Leg

  1. Pingback: Breaking the Sheep’s Leg | Christians Anonymous

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