“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he 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; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:3-5
Jesus was talking to the Pharisees, concerning His followers, and He used the Shepherd/sheep relationship in describing the leadership of the shepherd and the response of the sheep. Jesus considered Himself to be the GOOD SHEPHERD, while the Pharisees were, in all actuality, spiritually BLIND, yet they claimed to have spiritual insight, thus making them FALSE SHEPHERDS.
The shepherds KNEW their sheep well, so much so that they gave their sheep names, and the Sheep KNEW their own name, and they KNEW the sound of their shepherd’s VOICE. Whenever, the shepherd called their name, the sheep would COME and FOLLOW their shepherd. The shepherd would go ahead of the sheep and his sheep would FOLLOW, because they KNEW his VOICE. But should a stranger call the sheep they would NOT respond, because they did NOT recognize the VOICE of the stranger. Instead the sheep would RUN AWAY.
Jesus is the GOOD SHEPHERD, and the TRUE BELIEVERS are His SHEEP, and as His sheep we NEED to be able to RECOGNIZE His VOICE, whenever He calls us to FOLLOW Him. We must be WILLING to FOLLOW Him WHEREVER He LEADS us. But we MUST be ABLE to RECOGNIZE His VOICE, to make sure we are NOT following a STRANGER or FALSE SHEPHERD. We can recognize His VOICE by having a CLOSE RELATIONSHIP with Him. In other words, we MUST be WILLING to spend some QUALITY time with Him, so we can HEAR and RECOGNIZE His VOICE. Then we NEED to be WILLING to FOLLOW Him. Are you FOLLOWING the GOOD SHEPHERD?
If you are NOT FOLLOWING Jesus, then you are in DANGER of being led to an ETERNITY in HELL, with ALL its HORRORS, and NO WAY of ESCAPE. However, God is giving you an opportunity NOW to LISTEN to the VOICE of the GOOD SHEPHERD as He says, “Follow Me!” He will lead you to an ETERNITY in HEAVEN, with ALL its BLESSINGS. In order to HEAR and FOLLOW, you MUST TURN AWAY FROM your sinful lifestyle, and TURN TO God, with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART. You MUST BELIEVE with ALL your HEART that JESUS died for YOU and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before GOD. And you MUST CONFESS your sins to Him and ask Him for His FORGIVENESS. Then ACCEPT His gift of SALVATION, and LISTEN and RECOGNIZE His VOICE and FOLLOW Him to an ETERNITY in Heaven. Do this NOW while you still can. He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!