2 Kings 4-6
Luke 24:36-53

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:4

Sheep can be very wilful and tend to wander off, meandering all over the place. They could get stuck on the cleft of a rock, or push through fences or get caught in thorns and thistles. How often are we like wilful sheep wandering off? The prophet Isaiah writes, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way…” (Isaiah 53:6).

When a shepherd finds a sheep that keeps wandering off, he will drape it over his shoulders, carrying it with him for days and even weeks at a time. The sheep then becomes comfortably familiar with the shepherd’s voice and scent. A bond is formed for the sheep in which it feels protected, warm and secure. When the time comes, the shepherd places the sheep back in the flock, and it does not wander off again, but stays near the voice of its shepherd.

Sometimes, we get stuck in the thistles and caught in the thorns before we find ourselves stranded on the cleft of a rock. In our times of trouble, several voices speak to us, but if we do not know Jesus, we will tend to listen to the voice of fear and doubt. Amidst all the tugging in our minds, pulling us this way and that, whose voice do we want to hear?

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who does not cast blame, condemnation or judgment, but rescues us from the cleft of the rock and brings us back into His fold. He tells us, “I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me” (John 10:14). How do we come to know Him? How do we recognize His voice? We come to know Jesus in the same way we come to know anyone—through familiarity. By nurturing a relationship with Jesus, meditating on His Word and seeking intimate communion with Him, we will come to know Him and grow familiar with His voice.

Though we may step out of the will of God, we never step out of His sight. Jesus will pursue us. Isaiah 40:11 says of Him, “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart....” To know Jesus is to know His heart and it follows that we will hear His voice. Jesus tells us, “When [the shepherd] has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger…because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice” (John 10:4-5). May we, like sheep, recognize the voice of our Good Shepherd.

Lord Jesus, forgive me of the times when I have wandered away from You. Grant me ears to hear and an obedient heart to act, so that my life stays on track with Your will. Thank You, Lord.

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