- Anatomy of a shepherd as observed by sheep
- you know his voice
- he comes in through the gate, not over the wall or through the fence
- he lays down his life for you
- his purpose is for your benefit
- Anatomy of a thief
Just a thought or so to chew on for Sunday. What is one way the Shepherd looks like to your average sheep? Assuming the sheep's observational powers are undamaged, of course.
Well, he recognizes the voice of the shepherd. Is this because of long association with the shepherd? Not really. Jesus has just, in chap 9 (TM), healed the man born blind. The pharisees then overhear this comment by Jesus: "For judgement I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind."
So they say, "Are we blind, too?" To which Jesus basically says, "Yes, because you claimed to be able to see when you couldn't. So your sin remains."
Then we go directly into chap 10, and this parable about the Good Shepherd, so I would say that it's not long association with the shepherd's voice, but something fundamentally shepherdish about the voice, that willing sheep are able to recognize. What's that mean? It means that any regular sheep can and will recognize the Shepherd's voice when finally he hears it, if he can hear it.
Should we be encouraged or discouraged by this idea? I think we should be encouraged, because no special ability or talent is required. It's an ability common to sheep, to recognize the voice of the Shepherd.
Think his voice has been in short supply for you lately? There's more than one thing that could account for that. More later.