Happy Thursday Everyone,
The scripture for today is John 10:2-4
John 10:2-4 But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
This is a very interesting illustration that our Lord is making. In it we have, a door, a shepherd, a porter or doorkeeper and sheep that are in what would have to be a sheep pen. In that culture, shepherds would often confine their sheep to the sheep pen at night for safe keeping. It was not unusual for shepherds to share the same sheep pen, mingling their respective flocks of sheep. In the morning when the shepherd came to take his sheep out to pasture the doorkeeper, recognizing the shepherd, would allow him entrance to his sheep.
While visiting a dairy farm in North Dakota several years ago, I was surprised to find that all of the cows at the dairy had names and the owner could address each one of them by name. Cows are not sheep, but naming animals, even herds of them, seem to not be so uncommon. When the shepherd came to lead his sheep out to pasture, he called them by name; each one had a name given by the shepherd. And at the sound of the shepherd's voice, the sheep would come as directed. Only the sheep that belonged to the shepherd would respond to his voice; all of the other sheep do not know that voice and will not respond to it. As his sheep come to him, the shepherd walks in front of them and leads them to pasture and water.
Jesus said in John 10:9 that "I am the door." In John 10:11 He said "I am the good shepherd." He then is, at once, both the access to His sheep and the Shepherd of His sheep. The doorkeeper is God the Father. How much safer could the sheep be? If we are His sheep, we can be assured that He knows us by name. He does not walk behind us and push us; rather, He goes before us and leads the way. As long as we keep our eyes on the Good Shepherd, listen for His voice and follow Him, we are safe. We can be assured of His protection, His care for us and of finding green pastures.
God bless you as you continue in His service.