John 10: 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.”
Jesus used sheep as illustrations to teach many lessons in the New Testament. Because of the culture of the day, the people of Israel would have caught the lessons immediately. I, on the other hand, have never been around sheep to learn their characteristics, so what I know of them is not through experience but through reading, studying or listening to teaching about the subject.
Recently, during a Bible Study by Anne Graham Lotz, Pursuing More of Jesus, I learned several interesting things about sheep.
The shepherds in Biblical times were assigned sheep from the time they were born. They were more like pets and the shepherd would often name each one. In other words, the sheep had a personal relationship with the shepherd. They knew his voice. They recognized it because everyday, they would heard his voice.
They knew the shepherd only had their best at heart and took care of their needs for water, food and protection from harm. They trusted no other. In fact, if someone else called them and they didn’t recognize the voice as the voice of their shepherd they would run the opposite direction in fright.
For those who know Jesus Christ as Savior, the lesson is clear. Jesus knows us and we know Him. He speaks to us through His Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When we listen, we can recognize His voice and can distinguish it from other voices-the voices of the world and Satan. We should trust no other.
Are you listening for the voice of the Good Shepherd? Can you hear His voice? What about the voices of the world? Are they so loud that the voice of Jesus has been drowned out and replaced by fleshly things?