by Graham Mol
Our litter of puppies are now nearly six weeks old and are still growing by the day. At the four week mark I introduced them to solid food – some pellets softened by soaking in water and formula. The puppies enthusiastically took to this new source of food and as a result I became a very important person in their lives. My VIP status is not quite as high as that of their mom, but I’m definitely up there as a provider of tasty food. With this new status come some perks, one of them being that when I call by whistling all eight of them come running.
Although it may not be for everyone, I’m loving the sight of this little pack of dogs as they come running and tumbling out the door and feeling their soft fur coats brush up against my legs as they crowd around me. I don’t even have to have their food bowls in my hands for them heed my call.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ words recorded in John chapter 10:
“Truly I tell you, anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus gave them this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
The sheep of a shepherd’s flock know and follow his voice when he calls them. Why? Because they know that he will lead them to pasture, that he will provide for them and care for them. They trust him. Jesus speaks of Himself as the Good Shepherd, one who will go to any length to protect and care for his flock, even willing to lay down his life for them. In others words, Jesus is someone we can trust in. He will not lead us astray.
The question then remains is that will you heed His call? Do you recognise His voice? The author of Hebrews notes:
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son… (Hebrews 1:1-2a)
The Bible is often called the “Word” of God. In it we find the recorded word of God and the very words that Jesus spoke. As we read and meditate on Scripture we start to become familiar with God’s voice. We begin to know the Word Himself, Jesus. And so we start to recognise His voice so that we may follow Him wherever He may call us.