There is a historic event that happened in ancient Israel. A raiding army looted countryside in Israel. Outside a village was a large sheep fold. They pushed aside the shepherd, went inside drove away all sheep. The shepherd was alone and did not have capacity to counter the armed soldiers. The intelligent shepherd waited patiently for few minutes. When the soldiers gathered all sheep and started moving away, he called his sheep by their names. The sheep turned and started running towards the shepherd. When the whole flock turned and rushed towards the shepherd, the soldiers were helpless. Soldiers’ shouts and show of threat could not stop the sheep. The ashamed soldiers left seeking next target in their wealth pursuit. Lord Jesus Christ said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27-28) Both in Old and New Testament, God is compared with Shepherd while the people are compared to sheep.
1) Listen to my voice: Sheep are safe when they are within the hearing distance of the shepherd. Whenever it strays beyond the circle of hearing, it is in danger. Hence, a disciple has to be in close fellowship with the Lord. Graciously, Lord speaks to us continuously, we should feel his presence. When that is not obvious, we have turn towards him. If the world becomes too noisy, it means, we are further away from his presence.
2) I know them: Lord knows His children by name. Lord knows His people. (II Timothy 2:19) God calls his children by name, in fact their profile is in his palms. (Isaiah 43:1: 49:16)
3) They follow me: Sheep follows the leading of the shepherd. A sheep needs to focus only on the shepherd. When to focus is shifted to any other object, or other sheep; the sheep could be in danger. Disciples are not to be followers of evangelists or prophets or institutions or denominations, but only Lord Jesus Christ.
Am I a faithful sheep of the Good Shepherd?