Voice of the Shepherd

Ben Van Arragon

Read: John 10:1-10

The sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (v. 4)

Throughout the Old Testament, God referred to his people’s human leaders as “shepherds.” On some occasions God condemned his people for wandering from their shepherds. On other occasions, God condemned his shepherds for misleading his flock. But God affirmed that each shepherd of Israel was a stand-in for an ultimate Shepherd who would one day lead his people perfectly and form a flock from among all people.

This Shepherd’s identity was finally revealed in John’s Gospel. Jesus identified himself as “the good shepherd” in contrast to the leaders of his day. He called them “thieves and robbers”—bad shepherds whose only intention was to enrich themselves on the backs of God’s people.

In this age of misinformation and competing loyalties, Christians can become confused and many are overwhelmed by the effort of discerning between the voices of bad shepherds and the voice of the Good Shepherd. Jesus reassured his listeners: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:26). How can you become one of Jesus’ sheep? Ask him to be your Shepherd and join the flock of his church. How does one hear the voice of the Good Shepherd? Familiarize yourself with his words, carefully recorded and lovingly handed to us in the Bible. Having embraced Jesus as your Shepherd, receive his promise: “I came that [you] may have life . . . abundantly” (v. 10). —Ben Van Arragon

As you pray, ask Jesus to help you hear his voice clearly.