My sheep listen to my voice. John 10:27
After watching TV news for hours each day, the elderly man grew agitated and anxious—worried the world was falling apart and taking him with it. “Please turn it off,” his grown daughter begged him. “Just stop listening.” But the man continued to spend an excessive amount of time on social media and other news sources.
What we listen to matters deeply. We see this in Jesus’ encounter with Pontius Pilate. Responding to criminal charges brought against Jesus by religious leaders, Pilate summoned Him and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” (John 18:33). Jesus replied with a stunning question: “Is that your own idea . . . or did others talk to you about me?” (v. 34).
The same question tests us. In a world of panic, are we listening to chaos or to Christ? Indeed, “my sheep listen to my voice,” He said. “I know them, and they follow me” (10:27). Jesus “used this figure of speech” (v. 6) to explain Himself to doubting religious leaders. As with a good shepherd, He said that “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” (vv. 4–5).
As our Good Shepherd, Jesus bids us to hear Him above all. May we listen well and find His peace.
What do you hear on the news or social media that makes you feel anxious? How can you give more time to hearing the voice of God?
Loving God, in a noisy world, when You speak to my heart, mind, and spirit in and through the Scriptures, may I hear You over all.
For further study, read Being Jesus Online.
In the Bible, leaders were considered “shepherds of [their] people” (Psalm 78:70–72). These leaders were to provide for, protect, and guide the sheep under their care. God is called the “Shepherd of Israel . . . who [leads] Joseph like a flock” (80:1). Psalm 23 expresses this beautifully. And Isaiah 40:11 says, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” In Ezekiel 34, we see both a stern warning against the wicked “shepherds of Israel” (v. 2) and a rich depiction of God as our perfect Shepherd. In the New Testament, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who “lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). He has “compassion on” (Mark 6:34) and cares for His wandering and lost sheep (Matthew 18:12–14).