10‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
Devotion by Lynne Buell
As a kid, I played outside with the other neighborhood children in the mid to late 50’s from morning until the street lights came on, only to come back home at lunch time for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk. We always had to be called by our mothers in the evening because we were so engrossed in whatever street game we were involved in, and we all knew our mother’s voices and the other kids’ mothers’ voices before they screamed out our names. Each mother had a distinct sound. One by one, the Moms would begin calling their kids in for the night. I can close my eyes and still hear the evening sounds of the moms and kids, including the robins saying good night in the background.
In this scripture, Jesus used this natural comparison from those days to explain how Jesus, as the shepherd, gives his life for the sheep…His followers…how the sheep will be saved if they follow Him. He knows each of his sheep by name. The sheep enter through the gate when He calls them, and they go along with Him because they know His voice. Another meaning the scripture has for me, is knowing when the Holy Spirit is speaking to me. I do not ‘hear’ the Spirit, but I feel it. I long to hear the Spirit, but maybe I’m not truly focused on the listening part. What I do know is that God, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit know all about me. When I feel their interaction, I react favorably. Maybe I have to continue working more on my listening skills.
Loving God, Thank you for the encouragement and hope you have brought to me. I do ask that you will help me with wisdom and skills so that I will have acute listening abilities while I continue my faith journey. Amen.