“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. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” John 10:2-4
In ancient times there were common sheepfold in towns where sheep from many flocks were kept in the same sheepfold. A sheepfold is a pen for the sheep. So there may be flocks from several different shepherds in one pen and there was one way out and one way in. It’s my understanding that one of the shepherd would sleep at the gate of the sheepfold so as not to let anything in to harm the sheep nor to let the sheep wander out of the gate. In the morning the shepherds would come to the pen and call their sheep by name and would lead them out of the pen. Now I have often heard that sheep were dumb animals but yet they knew the voice of their shepherd. They would not follow another shepherd only the voice that they knew would protect them, guide them and lead them. In fact:
“A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:5
My friends, I can testify that when you spend a lot of time with Jesus you begin to hear His voice and know His voice more clearly. I can remember early in my christian walk, when I wouldn’t be able to discern His voice, His leading and guidance on my life with much clarity. And I am not saying that I hear it correctly every time now, but I can say that after years of being with Him daily and having a quiet time and walking this life out with Him as my guide, I can recognize His lead much clearer than I could years ago. It is just like with your spouse or children, or close friends. If my children or spouse calls me from another phone they do not have to identify themselves. I know their voice. All they have to do is speak and I will know who they are. They could fool me quicker with a look than they ever will with their voice. Much the same way the more time I spend with Jesus, the more I know His voice in my life. I am not saying He speaks audibly but I can feel His voice. He is My Shepherd and I know His voice.
So whose voice are you listening to? Is it Our Good Shepherd’s or is it a disguise? Is it someone who is trying to climb over the walls to gain your attention?
“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10: 9-11
The thief will try to disguise his voice to sound like Jesus, so that you will follow, but the thief will never lay down his life for you. He will just steal yours. Our Good Shepherd has already laid down his!