Good morning! I am neither bright eyed nor bushy tailed but I am awake this morning, and happily so. I have my son demanding "EAT!!" and a furball demanding attention. In all, it's a typical morning here. Although I did not see the actual sunrise this morning, from my vantage point I watched it grow lighter and brighter outside, and saw the bus come to pick up the neighborhood kids. I enjoy life in the mornings.
Today we are in chapter ten of John. Jesus is still speaking at the temple, after having healed a blind man on the Sabbath. Now he is speaking in parable, telling those who heard him speak years ago , and us today, that he is the good shepherd. The sheep hear his voice, and follow. Jesus says that his sheep will not follow a stranger, for they don't know the stranger's voice.
Sheep aren't the most intelligent of creatures; at least, that is the reputation they have. They need constant care and attention. They wander off sometimes, and need to be guided back to safety. It takes a lot of love and patience to be a shepherd. Sounds a lot like us, doesn't it? We tend to wander off on our own sometimes, but if we listen, we hear the Master's voice and we return to him.
Please do read this chapter. Jesus shows much love for us in this. In verses 15 through 18, he knows he is going to die. But he says that no one is doing it to him. He laid down his life willingly. He chose to do this for us.
The people listening to him were divided on this. Some insisted that Jesus had a devil, others understood and said no man who did things Jesus did could have a devil in him.
At the feast of the dedication, people asked him, Why do you make us doubt? Tell us plainly, are you the Christ? Jesus answered that he had already told them, and they chose not to believe. He had been doing the works of the Father all this time. You don't listen because you aren't one of my sheep (my words, v 26). He continued to tell them that his sheep hear his voice and follow him. His people are safe in God's hand.
Once again, the people took up stones to stone Jesus. They insisted he was blaspheming by claiming such a relationship with God. As it was not time, Jesus left.
I don't do this chapter near enough justice. Please do read it for yourself. Hear the Shepherd's voice. The only way to get to know his voice is to read for yourself.
In the meantime, have a great day.