"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
(John 10:1-5 NIV)
In our passage, Jesus depicts himself as the Shepherd and us as the sheep of his flock.
He says a key phrase beginning in verse 3b, “the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice”.
Sheep aren’t very bright animals but they are still able to recognize their shepherd’s voice and follow him as he leads them to green pastures and on safe paths. We don’t have to be smart to follow Jesus, we just need to be able to recognize his voice and follow where he leads us. If you have a close relationship with someone you will know their voice, and if you trust them you will follow them even if you can’t see or don’t know the way.
I’m reminded of a country boy who went to visit a friend in New York City. It was about noon and they were downtown by Times Square in Manhattan. The streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, sirens were wailing and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. The country boy said, “I hear a cricket.”
His friend said, “You have got to be kidding. You couldn’t possibly hear a cricket with all this noise.”
The country boy listened again and said, “Yes I’m sure of it. I hear a cricket.” The two boys listened very carefully for a moment and then the country boy walked across the street to a big cement planter where some bushes were growing. He looked into the bushes and sure enough there was a cricket there. “That’s incredible,” said the city boy. “You must have super-human ears.” “No.” said the country boy. “My ears are no different then yours. It all depends on what you are listening for.”
What are you listening for today? God wants to speak to you.
Please join me in the following Prayer. Father I pray this day that I would listen to Your voice. Let me not ignore You. Let me not listen to You and then forget what you said. Let me not crowd Your words out of my life. But let me receive Your words with my whole heart and become a doer of Your Word. Amen.”
Pastor Campbell can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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