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John 10:1-18, The Good Shepherd

Wednesday, February 14

We Know Jesus' Voice – The Good Shepherd

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

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Is Jesus confused? “I am the gate… I am the good shepherd.” So – is he the gate or is he the shepherd? Jesus’ definitive answer is, “Yes!” The question isn’t really: “Who is Jesus?” The question here is: “Is Jesus the one?” Again, the answer is “Yes!”

It really doesn’t matter that Jesus uses a mixed metaphor to describe who he is. What matters is that Jesus is proclaiming loudly that his voice is the one we are invited to follow. We, and others in his other flocks (Samaritans, perhaps? Muslims? Maybe).

In a world (his and ours) where there are so many loud and competing voices, it can be hard to discern Jesus’ voice. But maybe it’s not as hard as we think. I heard a Kids’ Storytime once where the pastor invited several kids to close their eyes, one at a time. When each child’s eyes were closed, he pointed to individuals in the congregation, who then called the child by name. The child was asked to identify which voice was their own parent. Every child correctly identified their own parent 100% of the time. They didn’t need to be taught. They didn’t need to study. They knew their parent’s voice because they lived with their parents day in and day out.

When we live with Jesus day in and day out, we don’t need to be taught which voice is his. We don’t need to study to recognize Jesus’ voice. When we reside with Jesus, we know. Sometimes we doubt ourselves. But when we give ourselves a moment to filter out all the shouting and screaming of the other voices we are inundated with, we know. Jesus’ voice is clear and powerful. “I am.”

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 10:1-18

‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go 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. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’

Earlier Event: February 13
John 6:22-34, Bread from Heaven
Later Event: February 15
John 6:35-59, Bread of Life