He described a dynamic to them. A dynamic which involved a connection between sheep and their shepherd. Their shepherd was the one who entered the sheepfold by the door. The gatekeepers affirmed his ownership of the flock by opening the gate intended to keep thieves and robbers out. Upon entering the fold, the sheep respond to their shepherd as they hear him call them by name. He then leads them out of their enclosure, and the safety of the pen. And they follow. Why? Because they know his voice.
Chewing on the first part of John 10 this morning. Jesus declaring Himself to be the “I am” of this amazing dynamic.
“I am the Door of the sheep” (10:7) . . . “I am the Good Shepherd” (10:11, 14).
Those who enter through Jesus the Door, “will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (10:9). While there are many offering backdoors to the “good life,” they are thieves and robbers and seek only to prey on the sheep. Jesus, Himself, is the entry point into life as God intended. “I came,” says Jesus, “that they may have life and have it abundantly” (10:10).
And the secret to such abundant life? They know His voice.
They know the voice of the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep. The voice that cried from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know what they do” (Luke 23:34). The voice that declared, as He breathed His last and offered Himself as the once for all sacrifice for the sin of the sheep, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The voice of the Shepherd risen from the dead that pronounced, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me . . . behold, I am with you always even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20). The voice, that even now, through the Spirit’s whisper, beckons, ” Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28).
They know His voice.
They know it in their joy. They know it in their sorrow. In their victories and in their defeats. When they are in lock-step with the Shepherd as He leads, and when they wander and hear His voice calling them back to Himself.
. . . they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. ~ Jesus (John 10:16b)
What grace to know the Good Shepherd’s voice.