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Jesus and The Animals

 Niki Behrikis Shanahan


Itís very interesting that Jesus seemed to be around animals often, and He frequently used animals in His parables.  It would appear that Jesus had animals on His mind.  Letís take a look at some of these scriptures.

Jesus was born in a manger, which is a feeding trough for livestock, and was surrounded by animals.  Isnít it interesting that of all the places that Jesus potentially could have been born, that it was in a stable with the animals?

            So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
                    Luke 2:16

The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove when John was baptizing Him.  Itís interesting that the third person of the Godhead, The Holy Spirit, appeared in animal form.

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
        Mark 1:9-11

Right after He was baptized, the Holy Spirit led Him out into the desert where He fasted for 40 days.  The wild animals and the angels were the only ones to surround him.

12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended Him.
            Mark 1:12-13

His conversation frequently revolved around animals.  He said to the disciples, ďI will make you fishers of men.Ē (Matthew 4:18-22).  In fact, most of the disciples were fishermen.

Jesus taught that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:23-24)

Jesus told Peter to go down to the sea and throw in his hook and the first fish he catches will have a shekel in it.  He was told to go and pay both their taxes.  (Matthew 17:27)  Even Jesus had to pay taxes!

In the Bible, Jesus is called the Lamb of God. (Revelation Chapter 5)

Heís called the Good Shepherd.

        I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.
                    John 10:14

Jesus is referred to as The Lion of Judah.

Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep!  See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
        Revelation 5:5

Hereís another example of Jesus using animals in His conversation Ė this time hens and chicks.

            "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent
            to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen
            gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
                    Matthew 23:37

He talks about the Sheep and the Goats in these next verses.

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.
            Matthew 25:31-40

Just before Jesus went to the cross, the Bible says that He told the disciples to get a donkey and bring it to Him.  He rode the donkey into Jerusalem to go to the cross. (Luke Chapter 19)

The Bible says that when Jesus returns He will ride a white horse.  He could ride in any type of vehicle He wished or simply fly down, but He has chosen to ride a white horse!  Jesus must love animals!

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse,
            whose rider is called Faithful and True.  With justice He judges and
            makes war.

                        Revelation 19:11

Jesus made the once-and-for-all sacrifice for mankind by dying on the cross.  It also eliminated the necessity for animals to ever be sacrificed again!

Did you ever notice that when a person really loves someone, they talk about them all the time?  Thatís because they are thinking about them so much.  Jesus obviously loves the animals very much, because He had them on His mind so often!


Note:  All Bible references are from the New International Version.

Niki Behrikis Shanahan is the author of There Is Eternal Life For Animals, The Rainbow Bridge: Pet Loss Is Heaven's Gain, and Animal Prayer Guide.  Pete Publishing, www.eternalanimals.com.  Available at amazon.com.  Article copyright 2003 Niki Behrikis Shanahan.   All rights reserved.  Not to be used without author's explicit written authorization.


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