Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The first voice you hear

One metaphor Jesus used to describe him and us was that he was the Shepherd and we are the sheep. I don't know what you think about when you think about sheep, but it's not really a flattering metaphor for us. Sheep aren't all that smart. They wander off and get in trouble. They are stubborn at times. And they can smell really, really bad.

On second thought, maybe Jesus' metaphor is perfect.

Have you ever seen a Shepherd shepherding sheep? Most of the time, when we think of a shepherd trying to get his sheep to go where he wants them to go, we think of a guy with a long staff, walking behind this group of sheep, gently patting the sheep on their backsides, guiding them towards greener pastures.

But that's not how shepherds lead sheep. Shepherds lead sheep from out in front by using their voice. And because the sheep know the shepherd's voice they follow it.

Now how in the world would the sheep know the Shepherd's voice well enough to be able to follow it?

Each morning, as the sheep were waking up, the shepherd would walk around and speak to each sheep individually by name. That meant that the first voice they heard in the morning is the voice of the shepherd. And it is the voice that they would follow. 

In John 10 Jesus says that his sheep hear his voice and follow him. Our problem, however, is that we live in a world with a million voices screaming for our attention. So how do we make sure we're following our Shepherd, Jesus?

The first voice we need to listen to each morning should be his. Our first appointment each morning should be with Jesus.


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