The life, testimony, ministry, and teachings of one Jesus from Nazareth
John 10 is a beautiful picture of how deeply and tenderly the triune God loves us, His flock. Throughout Scripture, God’s people are pictured as sheep. The psalmist of Psalm 95 wrote, “We are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” Sheep are totally dependent upon their shepherd for protection, guidance to new pastures, and a myriad of other things. Likewise, we must be totally dependent upon our Good Shepherd and allow Him to take care of us. Because just as woolly little sheep have dangerous enemies and predators, so do we. Our enemy, the devil, is a thief whose sole mission is to steal, kill, and destroy. So let’s stay close to the Shepherd and out of harm’s way!
As I was studying the first half of John 10, I was struck by verses three and four. Did you know that God knows your name? He does! Think about that. How many people know and remember your name? Probably not very many compared to the world’s population. But out of the seven billion people on planet earth and the billions more from all history, God knows your name! And not only does He know it, but He uses it. God calls you by name! And when Jesus, our Good Shepherd, leads His sheep, He does so by calling them out each by name. What love, care, and concern for each individual! What tenderness and gentleness displayed by this simple act and seemingly small detail! But our God wants a personal relationship with us, and therefore, pays attention to each small detail, from the number of hairs on our head to the length of days we shall live. Nothing about us is too large for Him to grasp or too small that it will be overlooked. “I have called you by name, you are mine.” -Isaiah 43:1b
However, going back to John 10, we, God’s sheep, also have a responsibility. We must follow our Shepherd. Why? Because we know His voice. The sheep of God’s flock follow when called by name because they know, are familiar with, recognize, and love the voice of their Shepherd. They do not cower in fear when they hear His voice, but confidently follow wherever He may lead.
So I ask you….do YOU know the Shepherd’s voice? Can YOU hear Him calling you by name? And if so, will YOU follow Him?
God desires a personal and intimate relationship with you. He knows everything there is to know about you, and loved you so much that He sacrificed His One and Only Son! He is knocking on the door of your heart and calling you by name. Therefore, listen to His voice and become familiar with how it sounds, so that as you journey through life, you may be able to recognize it from among the many voices in the world seeking your attention, and may be able to follow His gentle commands as the Good Shepherd leads you in the way everlasting.
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.”