Read John 10
References to Jesus as the Good Shepherd are a fairly familiar part of “Christian-speak.” This is yet another one of the “I AM” statements that John records in his Gospel and it is one that we like to resonate with. The Shepherd both cares for and protects the flock; we like to be cared for and protected. You don’t hear much about sheep getting “disciplined” or “told what to do.” We like that too.
But what Jesus says here is important if we are to play well the role of the sheep: Sheep listen to the Shepherd. The only way that they can do this is if they know the sound of the Shepherd’s voice. They follow the Shepherd because they know Him, need Him, and trust Him. Sheep have no natural defenses;
Sheep have no natural defenses; they rely solely on the Shepherd for their very lives.
The fact that this is a metaphor for us (the sheep) and Jesus (the Good Shepherd) may not come as a surprise, however, the depth of the Truth that Jesus presents here could be. We are born into this world steeped in sin; there is nothing that we can do to get away from it. Humans possess no “natural” defenses against it.
We need the Shepherd to protect us.
Unfortunately, Christians are becoming less and less able to recognize His voice. We spend a diminishing amount of time reading Scripture, the Word of the Shepherd, and much more time listening to the cacophony of voices in the world pretending to be “shepherd” like. Yet Jesus also says that He is the Gate. Even though we might listen to other voices, the only true way to the fold is the gate and the only way to find the gate is by listening to the Good Shepherd.
If you have moment, read Psalm 23 and then listen to this song: