“You do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Jesus’ Sheep Listen to Him
A group of tourists was visiting a farm in Norway when the farmer took them to see his sheep. The farmer taught the group the call he used to summon his sheep. He then allowed three of the tourists to try to use that call to summon the sheep. The first tourist stepped up to the fence and gave the call. The sheep just kept grazing as if nothing had happened. The second tourist gave the call. The sheep still just kept grazing. The third tourist took her turn, still nothing. None of those voices could summon the sheep, even though they gave the farmer’s call.
Finally, the farmer himself stepped up to the fence and gave his call. Immediately, the sheep stopped grazing and looked up. He gave his call again. The sheep looked directly at him. A couple more calls from the shepherd and the entire herd ran toward him. The farmer was able to do what no one else could do because his sheep recognized his voice and would follow only him.
The people who had gathered around Jesus refused to believe that he was the Messiah, even though he clearly had told them that he was the Messiah. To Jesus, this was not surprising. They were not his sheep, so how could they listen to him? If they were his sheep, they would listen to him because sheep know their shepherd’s voice. When the sheep hear their shepherd’s call, they eagerly follow him.
We are Jesus’ sheep when we believe in him. When God the Holy Spirit leads us to trust in Jesus as our Savior, he opens our ears to recognize Jesus’ voice. We hear Jesus speaking to us in his Word. We hear how he rescued us from all our sins through his perfect life and his death on the cross. We hear his promise always to care for us and bring us safely home to him in heaven. Like sheep who know their shepherd’s voice, we recognize Jesus’ voice and eagerly follow him wherever he may lead us.
Jesus, my Shepherd, I praise you that you have opened my ears to hear and recognize your voice. Lead me to follow you always. Amen.