Whose Voice Is Heard?
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is John 10:1–10
1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (NKJV)
It doesn’t take long for us to be aware of how many voices fill our world. Some are rather pleasing—singing, chanting voices, descriptive voices, teaching. Some not so pleasant—sirens wailing, metal crushing metal, explosions of air, enticing voices to turn away the Shepherd.
We face a deluge of voices, so much so that soon we lose track of the uniqueness of voices, especially the voice of the Shepherd. Perhaps we turn off our ears to most of the noise, filtering for only certain voices.
In the midst of all that confusion, cacophony, we miss the most critical voices. Voices that speak beauty, love, even hope, trust, peace.
Jesus spoke about the use of a voice, namely His own voice.
2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (NKJV)
Jesus uses the imagery of the shepherd and his sheep, to emphasize the relationship between shepherd’s voice (Jesus) and His sheep (us) who hear His voice. How comforting to hear His voice in the midst of all the other voices and attention seekers’ voices trying to draw us away, to drive the sheep (us) away —and keep them (us) away.
Jesus urges His sheep to listen to His voice, to be trained in such a way that we, the sheep, can distinguish between His true voice from all the false voices that lure us.
How are we doing listening to His voice? Is His voice just one of many competing voices of the crowds? Even in the Christian realm, many voices sound enticing, offering the latest and greatest. But do they reflect the voice of the Shepherd? Sadly many do not.
Let’s focus on listening to the voice of Jesus.
Listening to the voice of Jesus does not happen in a mystic kind of experience. Rather, we hear Jesus’ voice in the Bible and not just the New Testament. As we have learned in the Wednesday Bible class, Christology in the Old Testament, the entire Old Testament points toward Jesus.
So, we listen to Jesus’ voice as prefigured in the Old Testament, and as presented in the New Testament. We can listen with our ears, our eyes, our hearts as we stay with the Bible. One of the modern conveniences, the internet, allows us to listen to and read the Bible anywhere any time, i.e., Biblegateway (https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/) offers several translations which you can listen to. You can also read in many translations. You can also listen to more options on YouTube searching by translation.
Let’s listen to the voice of Jesus, our Shepherd, our Good Shepherd. Today and every day.