Are You the Lord’s Sheep

A key step to hearing from God is to take a truth spoken by Jesus seriously, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:27-28)  Jesus spoke another truth that must be grasped in order to hear from the Lord, “But you do not believe because you are not My sheep.” (John 10:26)

It is imperative that you understand that Jesus is talking to Jews here. (John 10:24)  He had been speaking to the Pharisees, (John 10:1) The beloved John makes it clear that the Pharisees could not understand what Jesus was teaching. (John 10:6)  A Pharisee (Φαρισαῖος Pharisaios) is a member of a Jewish religious sect.  Pharisees were educated (Nelson’s New Testament Bible Manners and Customs) The Pharisees are described by two first century sources, the New Testament and Josephus, a Jewish Historian who wrote for non-Jews in the Greek language.  The picture of the Pharisees in the Gospels present them as legalistic, hypocrites and were blind to Jesus’ message.  Jesus had a conversation with a Pharisee, Nicodemus.  In that conversation, Jesus points out, “…you do not believe.” (John 3:10, 12)   In His parable of the “Good Shepherd and His Sheep” Jesus taught, “The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him, because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact they will run from him.” (John 10: 3-5)

“Travelers to lands where old-fashioned sheep herding methods are still used, have noticed the shepherds often give names to their sheep, just like we do our dogs, cats, and horses.  They notice the sheep recognizes its own name, and comes when called by the shepherd they know.  They even noticed that when the different flocks are mixed, as each shepherd begins to call his flock, travelers are intrigued by the sheep’s readiness to separate and follow the commands given.  They notice the sheep paid no attention to the shepherds they did not know.”  (Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. 518). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers)

Hearing from God in modern times requires that you be a true sheep, a child of God who hears the voice of the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.