”When he has brought out all his own [sheep], he goes on ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.
Anyone who does not enter a sheep pen by the gate is a thief and robber. The shepherd enters the paddock by the gate and calls the sheep by name. They follow him because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger because they do not know his voice.
Jesus says, “I am the gate for the sheep.” Those who came before, the false Messiahs and false teachers, were like thieves and robbers. Thieves come to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus has come to give life to the full.
Jesus calls us by name. He knows us. We are not a blank face in the crowd or a six-digit number.
The true follower of Jesus knows His voice and follows Him where He leads. We follow because we know the voice.
There is a depth of intimacy in our relationship with Jesus. He knows us more deeply than we know ourselves. He is the Good Shepherd who loves His sheep.
Jesus knows me and loves me!
I know Him. I recognise His voice as He speaks to my heart. I hear His voice in Scriptures and in good preaching. I hear His voice when He speaks to me in dreams and visions. I hear His voice in the stillness and quiet places.
He leads and I follow that voice; it works best that way. Sometimes I try to follow other voices, but it usually ends badly.
It is so much better to follow the shepherd of my soul.
Lord Jesus, please help me to hear your voice and to follow your voice alone. Amen.