Daily Devotion – Are You Listening?

My Sheep Hear My Voice

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 NIV

I and the Father Are One

22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” – John 10:22-30

Well, it’s official sports fans, I don’t hear as well as I used to.  I even have a doctor’s note to prove it.  Now, when I’m accused of not listening, I can confidently say, “I’m listening, but I can’t hear you,” I have a note!  Two weeks from now when I have my new hearing aids, that will no longer be an excuse for me.

Actually, I’m really looking forward to hearing all that I’ve been missing; hearing loss can be very isolating.  Rather than continually asking, “What did you say?”  I tend to withdraw, smile, nod my head and wonder what was being said.

Speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem, Jesus encountered a different kind of hearing loss.  His audience heard his words, but did not believe or receive what he was telling them.

I Am the Good Shepherd

1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” – John 10:1-18

Jesus’ words divided the crowd, some thought he was demon possessed, others thought he was insane and asked, “Why listen to him?”  Still others pointed out the miracles he’d performed and said his words were not those of someone possessed by demons.  God’s Word can divide as we learn from scripture.

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

What’s really at issue is their faith.  Those who don’t believe on the name of Christ hear the words, but cannot understand what is being said.  Those that know their Savior are always listening to his voice, growing in God’s grace as they trust in His Word.

27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27

Are you listening?

Today, as you consider God’s Word, as you believe in Christ Jesus, your Savior, your risen Lord, rejoice that you are at peace with God, that you are indeed, a redeemed, forgiven child of God.

Prayer

Almighty God and Father, precious Lord and Savior, how we long to hear your voice! You come to us in your Word and sacrament and fill us with your love. Father in heaven, as we listen to your Word, send your Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to receive it. Strengthen us to share your Word boldly with others. Come to us in the still and quiet morning and refresh us with your promises. Open our ears to hear the gospel when we’re feeling isolated or alone. Thank you Father for sending Jesus, your precious Son to pay our debt on the cross. As we believe on His name, we know you welcome us as your children, the sheep of your pasture, who listen to our Good Shepherd. And believers everywhere said, Amen and Amen.

May God bless you richly as you dwell on his word.

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