“And his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice” (John 10:4-5).
The topography of Judea is such, quite often, there are multiple herds grazing on the same hillside. What is remarkable is that each sheep know their shepherd’s voice. They will not follow another. Only the voice of their shepherd will they heed. Multiple shepherd’s can call out for their sheep at the same time, and the sheep will only follow their shepherd’s voice.
It’s kinda like when your child is playing in the playground and there are dozens of kids at play. But when your child cries out, you hear your child’s voice.
This is the context in which Jesus referred to himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep.
The understanding is that his sheep would know his voice.
Do you? Can you discern his voice from the chorus of voices shouting out for your attention and loyalty? Can you discern his voice and guidance from the voices and guidance of others?
The only way to know the voice of the shepherd is to know him through his word. How else will we know Jesus? Our spiritual experiences? dreams? personal whims?
If we love Jesus, we love his word. Ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of the Shepherd.
Set aside 10-15 minutes every day to read through God’s word. Get his word in you. If you’ve never read through the Bible, start with the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. For help and guide to read through the Bible in a year, YouVersion is a fantastic free resource. You can find many different Bible reading programs.
Knowing the shepherd’s voice is essential to the well-being of sheep. Sheep’s life depend on it.
You see, the devil doesn’t fear sheep. The devil only fears the shepherd. When it comes to sheep, the safest place for sheep is in the presence of its shepherd.
Know your Savior’s voice. Know his word.