11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd glays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
There is an absolute beauty in the relationship between sheep and their Shepherd. First and foremost is the ability for the sheep to learn to discern THEIR Shepherd’s voice. Once they do that, they can take comfort in the fact that there is one, and only one, that is there for them. A true Shepherd, not a “hired hand” will do whatever is necessary to ensure that if even one sheep strays, he will do whatever is necessary to find him/her and bring them back.
Such is the relationship between us and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He not only knows us, but knows where we are both physically and spiritually. How do we know all of this is true? Realize that Christianity is the only religion that has a true PERSONAL relationship with God. Also think back, for us “long in the tooth Christians”, and remember a time when we strayed. God speaks to us through our own Shepherd who brought us back to the flock. Maybe it was a Priest, a friend, or even a stranger who he used to bring us home.
Are you being called to be that person to someone. Realize that you may be that to someone and not even know it. It could possibly be a stranger, someone you work with, or even a family member. If you let him, he will use you.
In a world where we hear so many voices telling us what is right for us and for the masses, ensure that you take time to listen for the Shepherd’s true voice calling out to you. Follow it and he will lead you to a life in the flock.
In His Name,