Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was always in the midst of messy situations. He started his life out that way, arriving in a stable filled with the smells and sounds of sheep and cows and goats. Jesus had no illusions about what being a shepherd to a flock of headstrong, obstinate sheep meant. Getting down and dirty is the name of the game. Jesus was always "stepping in it" - riling up the religious authorities, the disciples and all his listeners, by prodding and poking them forwards, driving them to conclusions that they didn't want to consider, keeping them on the right track.