Before the invention of call display, you could identify some voices on the telephone by a single word. Familiarity allows us to recognize certain people instantly.
In the same way, using a story about sheep, Jesus says we can know His voice. Those who know Jesus’ voice, listen to Him and follow Him.
In John chapter 10,Jesus describes Himself as a shepherd and people as sheep: • His sheep listen to His voice (10:3) • He calls His own sheep by name (10:3) • His sheep follow Him because they know His voice (10:4) • He knows His sheep (10:14) • His sheep know Him (10:14) • His sheep listen to His voice (10:16)
We can know God’s voice. God reveals Himself through His Word. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, laid down His life for us — the sheep (John 10:14-15). When we surrender to Jesus and trust Him as our Savior, we know Him and we know His voice.
Followers of Jesus listen to God’s voice. Just like sheep listen to their shepherd, believers listen to what God says. And hearing is implied in listening. Not only can we know God’s voice, we can hear Him speak! God speaks to our hearts through His Word, with the quiet whisper of His Spirit to our spirits, through our consciences, through wise advice, and even circumstances.
Listening to Jesus means doing what He says and going where He goes. Followers listen and listeners follow. The two actions go hand in hand.
Heavenly Father, thank you for this incredible truth: that I can know your voice. I want to follow you, so help me to listen and respond to everything you say. Amen.
Go Deeper — Write out John 10:27 (the opening verse above). Think through the following questions: How am I seeking to hear God’s voice? Do I listen when I hear God’s voice? Do my actions show that I am listening to God’s voice? What keeps me from listening to God’s voice?
Photo Credit: Ray Hennessy