Saturday, June 25, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

People of God- Flock of Christ


Philip Manuel and Laila Anie Philip
Carmel MTC, Boston, MA

v3....and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

To understand the context of this passage, one has to read John 9 where we see that Jesus has healed a man who was blind. The neighbors and Pharisees do not believe in this miracle and claim that the man was not blind. Some even claim that it is not the blind man that they are seeing, but somebody who resembles the blind man. They even drove him out. Jesus now remarks that even those who are able to see have become blind. Jesus was speaking metaphorically but this was beyond the comprehension of the Pharisees.
In this passage Jesus goes on to further ridicule the Pharisees and calls them thieves and robbers. Jesus states, in John 14:6   “ I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me”.  However here we see that the Pharisees are trying to become spiritual but do not accept Jesus as the Saviour or Messiah. Hence Jesus' statement that they do not come on straight paths but try to sneak in.
Jesus here extols the virtues of a Good Shepherd.
1. The good shepherd comes in through the front door. Jesus here is reinforcing the idea that He is the son of God and that He is the one chosen to be the Messiah
2. The gatekeeper recognizes Him and opens the door for Him. The reference here could be that the Israelites accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior but the Pharisees did not. They would rather pay homage to Moses than give any attention to Jesus.
3. The sheep hear His voice and recognize Him. We see that Nathaniel (John1:49) and the blind man(John9:35-38) recognize Jesus as the Son of God.
4. The good shepherd knows the name of every sheep and calls them by name. Even though Jesus did not refer to Nathaniel by his name, he did extol the good qualities of Nathaniel showing that he has an intimate relation with his sheep.
5. The good shepherd knows the way and will lead the sheep safely to green pastures. The sheep in turn trust him and are ready to follow him
In today’s  fast faced world, are we able to recognize our shepherd’s sweet voice?

PRAYER

Lord, forgive us for not  having  a close relationship with You always.  Strengthen us to listen to Your voice and follow You all the days of our life. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security. Proverbs 14:26.