Read John 10:1-18


“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit.  The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.  They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”


Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.  So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.


“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away–and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.


“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.


“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”



     from Pastor Judy Bennett, Island Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Wheeling


He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out….

            There is nothing in all of scripture that affects me more powerfully than the knowledge that Jesus knows me by my name.  And I take great comfort in the fact that He calls my name when I am being as dumb as a wayward sheep – going off on some tangent of my own – suddenly finding myself lost among the clutter of my own wrong decisions and childish actions.  But then, deep in my self-imposed stillness, comes that still, small voice that calls my name and gently leads me back to where I need be in order to continue my journey of life.   

            As we move ever closer to the cross, may we listen for His voice as He calls us each by name.


Shepherding God, open our ears

 that we may hear you call our name

and then lead us in the way you would have us go.