"When He put forth all His own, He goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know His voice."
When we read and meditate on the first 18 verses in John 10, you cannot deny that true followers of Christ hear His voice, and follow behind the Great Shepherd. This is a very relational discourse which is all God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit desires from mankind. We are told in the New and the Old Testament the most important commandment is to love God with your all
( Duet 6:5, Matt 22:37) The Christian faith is that simple! Jesus’ teachings were never complicated as He taught the parables. Religion and man make things complicated and futile.
Notice the sheep who belong to Him allow Him to go ahead of them, so they may follow Him — not each other, but Him. There is only One good and perfect Shepherd. The sheep follow Him because they know His voice. Prayer time is to be a two way conversation. If we would allow Him to go before us while praying it would be much more fruitful. As His sheep we are to surrender our will for His in every way. In doing so the sheep gain their lives rather than losing them.
John 10:5 states:
"A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers."
As I read these verses this morning in the present upheaval we are experiencing I had to do a self examination. Observing the behavior of the church during this time we do not display the behavior of sheep confidently hearing the voice of our Shepherd allowing Him to go before us as we are safely guided through. Conversations magnify government hand outs, and the corona virus with its devastation as we cower in our homes. Brothers and sisters the world’s hope is in themselves and what they can accomplish on their own, rather than trusting in the God of the universe who created them. But what has happened to the Church??
Our hope and source of strength is God Almighty – King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is all powerful; His Word is true and He is faithful! We are to be in the world, but not of it! (John 17:16) Let us get our eyes and ears where they belong, in the truth and promises of God’s Word. We must stop listening to world reports, and listen to His voice above all others. We will receive and give out to others peace that only He can give, not as the world gives. Jesus tells us in John 14:27:
"Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
Dear friends, let us believe and obey His instruction as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ this week. I beseech you to shut out all voices, but His. Be comforted with the following verses in John 10:27-30:
"My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one (or virus) is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. "
Let yourself become a true follower of the Good Shepherd this morning as you listen to what He is saying to His own.
In His love.
All creation is engaged in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Remember this resurrection power is inside each of His sheep! (Romans 8:11)