Psalm 118:8,9 says “It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people. It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” As I write this on April 21st, we as a nation, state, county and city, for the last several weeks, have had many “people" who consider themselves experts, and many “princes” that are governmental leaders, inform us and assure us of what they believe about the COVID-19 virus and what we can and can not do. Some of what we were told by the various experts and leaders was sometimes contradictory. On a subject as serious as the virus, the contradictory information and direction can be of dire concern and leave us wondering who or what is right. The consequences, we have been told, of doing the wrong thing, could lead to serious illness or death of ourselves or someone else. In this uncertain time, when our world seems to have been turned upside down and we are seeing and experiencing things we thought unimaginable a few months ago, we need to more than ever “trust the Lord” and all of His promises to us.
John 10:22-30 “At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around Him and said to Him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about Me, but you do not believe because you are not among My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Have you ever wondered why Jesus calls us sheep? I think it’s because of what they are and who they depend on for everything. By their very nature, they are followers and depend on their shepherd for everything, What do Jesus’ sheep do. John 10:27 says Jesus’ sheep, hear His voice, He knows them, and they follow Him. Sounds pretty simple doesn't it. We listen to Him, He knows us and we follow Him.
The Jews had the biggest question for Jesus anyone could have possibly asked. “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Sounds like a simple request doesn't it? The Old Testament predicted the Messiah would come as a Shepherd, but the Jews had a different kind of Messiah they were looking for. What kind are you looking for?
I love the way Albert Barnes’ in his notes on the NT explains verse 27...
“27. My sheep. My church, My people, those who have the true spirit of My followers. The name is given to His people because it was an illustration which would be well understood in a country abounding in flocks. There is also a striking resemblance, which He proceeds to state, between them.
Hear my voice. See John 10:3, 4. Applied to Christians, it means that they hear and obey his commandments. I know them. See John 10:14. They follow me. A flock follows its shepherd to pastures and streams, John 10:3. Christians not only obey Christ, but they imitate Him; they go where His Spirit and providence lead them; they yield themselves to His guidance, and seek to be led by Him. When Jesus was upon earth many of His disciples followed or attended Him from place to place. Hence Christians are called His followers, and in Rev. 14:4 they are described as “they that follow the Lamb.” (bold mine)
In the next few verses Jesus lays out what His sheep receive when they follow Him. “He gives them eternal life, and they shall never perish and no one can snatch them out of His hands”. And just in case they missed it, He repeats it in the next verse again.
“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
It's good to be a sheep!