Vs. 11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Here’s some background…The Middle Eastern sheepfold was very simple… a stone wall, perhaps ten feet high, surrounded it, and an opening served as the door. The shepherds in the village would drive their sheep into the fold at nightfall and leave the porter to stand guard. In the morning each shepherd would call his own sheep, which would recognize their shepherd’s voice and come out of the fold. The shepherds would sleep at the opening of the fold and actually become “the door.” Nothing could enter or leave the fold without passing over the shepherd. But the false shepherds who are like thieves try to get into the fold some subtle way, but the sheep will not recognize or follow them. And then this chapter shows us an application to this truth when the Feast of Dedication came…many of the people (Sheep) proved they were not Jesus’ sheep by their unbelief (vs. 22-42)
Regarding application…Do You Hear. Vs. 4, “…and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” Wow, isn’t that great…because they know his voice. Question: Do you know Jesus’ voice? When I was little…can’t remember what age…maybe 6, my family went to “Marriots Great America Theme Park” (much like Six Flags, Magic Mountain in L.A.). There was a area that had this huge playground (it had a building that was upside down, and it felt like you were walking on the ceiling…pretty cool back then) It was so huge and the crowds were so big that I got separated from my mom and family. I’m not sure how long it had been, but I began to realize I couldn’t find my mommy. It was safe to say, that I was looking somewhat worried…but my mom was pretty frantic as she had been calling out my name over and over again. Finally…I was found not by seeing my mom…I heard her voice and then was able to locate her in the huge crowds! I think we are just like that too…in the crazy crowds of our world…we sometimes get lost and can’t find Jesus. But He always speaks to us with this Word, His Holy Spirit, etc. It’s only when we realize that we have lost Him that we need to find Him again. When you get lost from Jesus…don’t rely on the things you can see…rather quiet yourself and listen to His still small voice and He would lead you back to Him.