I don’t know much about sheep. But I do know one thing, thanks to my college roommate who grew up on a sheep farm and emphasized by the time her dad had to pry out a little ewe’s head from a wire fence (poor baby), they are not so smart.
It’s funny to me that Jesus would choose to use sheep as a stand in for us humans in His parable to describe salvation. Funny in an “awe man, Jesus, did you have to remind us of how dumb we are again?” kind of way… because it’s true, we can be stupid sometimes.
Jesus clearly explains to the Pharisees that the sheep know His voice. They would not follow a stranger, for they would run away at the sound of an unfamiliar voice. But, why is it that Jesus shares this parable anyway if that is already a given?
It is because we don’t always know His voice. It is a nice picture that we are Jesus’ little sheep, and nothing can go wrong because we won’t follow the voice of a thief who decides to slaughter and destroy (John 10:10).
But, the reality is this… we don’t always know Jesus’ voice because we choose so often to pay attention to the voice of the thief. We allow the media, television, obscene music, promiscuous films, and bad friends to tell us who we are. And sometimes, we allow the voice of the thief to enter our thoughts because it is easier than waiting for the good shepherd to come.
We must listen to the good shepherd so that we know His voice. Listen to Him in prayer, through the sacraments, in Scripture. Listen to Him enough to recognize His still small voice in the midst of our loud world. He is always there. It is our willingness to be patient and quiet that makes the difference.
Today, spend 15 minutes in silence away from distractions and listen to Him.