“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Most of us know little about shepherds their sheep during Jeus’ time.
the Shepherd was responsible to take care of all his flock. As each baby lamb was born the shepherd would imprint with that sheep The shepherd would either talk constantly, sing, whistle or even play an instrument constantly to his sheep. by dong this they would recognize only their shepherd and only follow him. At nighttime the shepherd would all gather their sheep together in a pen that was a walled -in area with a space or gate in the wall, where the sheep entered. The shepherds would take turns guarding the gate at night. They would lay down in the opening to protect the gate. Anyone who came over the walled pen would be a thief or a robber.
In the morning, the shepherds would come and get their sheep. They would recognize their particular shepherd by his voice. The shepherd would lead his sheep along narrow pants to find good pastures and water. Sheep are pretty dumb animals and they would stay in one place and starve if it were not for the shepherd guiding them to pastures. Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
1. How well do you know His voice? How do you listen for His voice?
2. How much time do you spend listening for Jesus’ voice and how much time do you spend listening to other voices in this world?
3. Take time this week to discover more ways you can tune in to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice and recognize all the ways he is leading you.