“I am the good shepherd, I know my own and my own know me.” –John 10:14
In the Gospel of John, Jesus describes himself in many wonderful ways. Often, Jesus uses imagery that the people of his day would easily understand. One of the images that Jesus uses is that of the shepherd. Shepherds were well known in Israel. They were the caretakers of important livestock.
Shepherds spent an incredible amount of time with their sheep. The shepherd’s voice led the sheep to food. Their voice called out for those sheep who had wondered off. It was the shepherd’s voice that kept the flock together so that they would be safe from danger. The shepherds almost never left their flocks, except when they would secure them in pens or caves, often with other flocks of sheep. When the shepherd opened the gate to the pen and called their sheep, their flock would follow.
Jesus understood the relationship between a shepherded and the sheep. He knew the sheep spent so much time in the presence of the shepherded that the sheep followed. When Jesus looked for a way to describe how his disciples should relate to him, he used the imagery of the shepherd’s voice.
As disciples, we are called spend time with Jesus, to learn about him, to learn his voice and to follow him. The connection between a shepherd and the sheep is strengthened by time spent together. The connection between the Good Shepherd and his disciples is also strengthened by time spent together. How often do you spend time with Jesus? How often do you listen for the voice of the Good Shepherd? We have the gift of prayer, reading the Bible and intentional time with God. I want to encourage you to find quite time today and this week to listen and grow close to the Good Shepherd. When we listen for the Good Shepherd’s voice, we will find God’s direction for our life.
Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor