John 10:3b-4 - (Jesus said) "The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice."
I heard this story from a friend of mine who was backpacking through the country of Jordan.
It was early evening when he stopped and watched three shepherds who were watering their flocks at a common well. As the flocks had mixed together, my friend wondered how the shepherds would separate them.
Eventually, one of the shepherds stood up and called out, "Come, follow me!" in Arabic.
Unbelievably, some thirty sheep walked out of the combined flocks and began to follow their shepherd up the hill. The second shepherd shouted the same command, and his flock followed after him. As for the other sheep, they acted as if nothing had happened.
When the third shepherd stood up, my friend asked, "Would your sheep follow me if I called them?" The man shook his head and invited my friend to try.
My friend called out for the sheep to come, follow him, in his best mimicked Arabic. The sheep stood and stared. Nothing. "Will they always follow you?" my friend asked the shepherd.
The shepherd replied, "Always. Except when a sheep is sick; then the creature follows anyone."
Today, Jesus—our Shepherd and Savior—is calling us to come and follow Him.
It's not the first time Jesus has extended such an invitation. When He walked with us, He invited Andrew and Peter, James and John. He stopped for a moment at Matthew's tax-collector table and did the same. Jesus' invitation and the Holy Spirit's power have summoned hundreds of millions into the forgiven and saved life that God alone can give.
Sadly, there are many more who still have not heard Jesus' call to forgiveness and eternal life.
There are those people whose governments have put up walls to stop missionaries from sharing in cities, towns, and villages. In such places, Lutheran Hour Ministries speaks on behalf of the Savior and proclaims online, by radio, and through print media His open invitation to whomever would listen.
Today, Jesus calls to each of us, "Come, leave behind your life of sin and sorrow. Come to the cross, find forgiveness for your sins, and join me in resurrection victory. Come, be My disciple. Come and know the joy of a loving Father. Come, before it is too late."
Do you hear Him calling you today?
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, by Your mercy may those who do not know the Savior hear His voice and heed His call to come. In His Name we pray. Amen.
Taken from a message prepared by Rev. Dr. Ken Klaus, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. How does knowing Jesus is our Shepherd help in your day-to-day life?
2. What was it in Jesus' voice that drew the first disciples to Him?
3. Did God use someone in particular to call you to Himself? Does that person know this?
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