The Shepherd’s Voice

Scripture Resource Passage: John 10:1-21

            “I can hear my Dad like I was ten years old,” Robert explained. Dad would always say, “Listen to the voice of Jesus, Robert. Listen to the voice.”

            Attending university as a first year student Robert encountered direct opposition to his faith. Thankfully, during his early teen years Robert had been consistently counseled to expect such challenges. Now, while he occasionally participated in a campus-ministry-small-group, at other times he was confronted with direct disregard and dismissal of his childhood training in the Faith. 

            Today’s Scripture passage focuses on an episode of confrontation and is recorded by our brother John (10:1-21). According to the Gospel the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is being challenged in direct disregard.

            The account is an authentic record documenting the voices of deception put forth by ill-intentioned and sophisticated spiritual hoaxes in the first century. On the university campus Robert was experiencing similar challenges

            The historical event(s) documented in John 10 report direct opposition to Jesus as Messiah. Designated religious leaders rejected him and his voice. In the timeline of the New Testament they will soon begin calling for his death.

            Yet Scripture is more than a historical record designed to increase awareness of events in the long ago. Scripture is meant to equip, prepare and encourage God’s people for life; and by life we mean both biological fullness and spiritually walking in the richness of the Kingdom of God (John 10:10).

            Robert, and all twenty-first century apprentices of Jesus should expect vocal, systemic opposition, deception and disregard for the Faith. However, let’s not provide the Opposition more attention than is necessary. Awareness of opposition? Yes. Absolutely. However, a mere focus on false teachers does not accrue long term benefits in our discipleship.

            How much better to focus on the One Who twice emphasizes (John 10: 11 & 14) in this emphatic poetic setting of instruction, “I am the good shepherd.” Friends, we walk with the Shepherd of our souls. We listen for the sound of his voice. Yes, we hear the voice of the Opposition; but more importantly we are always listening for the Shepherd’s voice. 

            Today’s Life Application is meant to stimulate your remembrance of past events and to encourage strategies for continuing as an apprentice of Jesus. We listen for the Master’s voice.

Life Application 

  1. As you recall a time when you heard Christ’s voice, did the spiritual connection come from reading the Bible, moments of quiet prayer, a connection through song, a gathering of the called, the careful counsel of a friend, or an experience during which you knew His presence?
  2. What will help you continuing to hear the Shepherd’s authentic voice?
  3. As a resource: Dallas Willard and Jan Johnson, Renovation of the Heart in Daily Practice,(United States of America, NAVPRESS), n.d.

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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