[Sep. 20] Wayne Hart began this discussion by having us read from John 9 and 10. On the heels of freeing a blind man from his lack of vision comes a challenge to Jesus’ authenticity (John 9). Detractors refused to “see” Jesus as their Messiah because he did not fit their expectations about what it means to obey God. It becomes very clear who really are the blind. When the man who had been blind marvels that they do not believe, he is thrown out of the synagogue.
Jesus then claims to be the “good shepherd,” the one who “gives his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). This is a high standard for those who want to be “assistant shepherds” (what some call pastors or priests). Jesus more than met that standard at Calvary on the cross. Are we willing to bear that same cross in service to all people?
What’s more, Jesus claims that those who are his sheep will hear and follow his voice. Harry, who has worked with sheep, comments that this is true in his experience. There will always be a few sheep that want to lead in other directions, but the shepherd can get around that by putting a bell on the sheep that follows him best. He calls that sheep, and it follows. When the other sheep hear the bell moving, they will follow. The willful sheep will eventually follow too, when they see the whole herd moving away.
It behooves each one of us to listen for and hear the voice of Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. He deserves his title and our devotion. Next time, we talk more about how to discern Jesus’ voice.