Home > Words of Wisdom > Sunday, 3rd of May 2020

Your name is special and there are very few in the world who share name. When I lived in Sydney, in the days of phone books and before mobile phones, I rang a man who lived in the same city whose name was listed as Wayne Shepherd. I said. “Hi, guess what, I also have that name!” I pictured us meeting up for coffee and becoming good friends! Sadly, he was not as impressed as I was because he was a shift worker and was asleep when I woke him to let him know this news. We never spoke again.

It is amazing that Jesus calls us by name and incredible that He would care for us that much. However, we need to be very careful that “WE” know His voice so that we are alert and guarded of those who would lead us astray.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:1-3, ESV.

“The gatekeeper of the pen would ensure that only approved shepherds—those who had claim on a flock inside—could get in or out. Anyone trying to climb over the walls was, by definition, up to no good. Those allowed in by the gatekeeper were legitimately allowed to be there. Multiple flocks would be kept in a single pen. To get a particular flock out, all the shepherd had to do was call. The sheep, having been raised and cared for by that single person, would respond. Members of other flocks would not come in response to that voice. Jesus is using this analogy in response to the religious leaders of Jerusalem, who obstinately refuse to recognize His miracles and His message. In plain terms, these men don’t listen to His voice because they are not His flock.” (This is a quote from “Bibleref” which is part of Got questions.org).

Ann Shorb from Christian Counselling & Educational Services in the USA writes of the importance of the relationship between Jesus and His followers. This relationship gives us hope and a reason for living.

“Psalm 23 is one of the most loved passages in all of scripture because it comforts us with the image of a good shepherd caring for His helpless, mindless sheep. Can’t you just picture the sheep grazing quietly in the field while the shepherd walks among them patting each one as he passes? At just the right time, he stands, calls them to follow him and gently chants as he walks forward. What is he chanting? One after the other the shepherd calls out the names of his sheep. Every one of them has a name, and he knows them all. Each sheep hears that familiar voice and his own name and follows the steps of the Shepherd.”