|Posted on March 7, 2011 at 2:54 PM|
" ... his sheep follow him because they know his voice."
Imagine if Jesus walked into your church this week. Would you recognize Him? When I was younger, I would have said "yes," believing He would wear a flowing white robe and look just like the painting on my Sunday school wall. Now, I'm pretty sure He'd blend in.
But what would He wear? Some might say Jesus would show up in a coat and tie. Others would insist He'd wear a polo shirt and khakis. I think He could show up in a t-shirt and jeans, depending on what others were wearing. He seemed to be quite comfortable in whatever crowd He joined.
The question is academic, because the Bible says it will be obvious when Jesus returns (read Jesus' own words in Matthew 24:23-27). Yet the question has value because it guides me to the place of longing to know Jesus so well I'd recognize Him no matter what He looked like or wore.
It is possible to know someone you've never met. We begin to know Jesus by reading the Bible. Read the New Testament - both the stories of Jesus' life and teachings, and of those who built His church after His resurrection. But if we close the Bible, set it on the bedside table, and did nothing more - we would have a knowledge about Jesus.
But we need to know Jesus personally. Seek to understand what Jesus thinks about certain things. His opinions and values are important. Reading His words, try to sense His heart. Developing intimacy with Jesus takes practice and honesty, just like it does in any intimate relationship.
We can get to know Him when we spend time seeking Him. In your longing to know Jesus, He will continue to reveal Himself more. Our key verse today is John 10:4. Jesus was warning the religious leaders of the day about those who would lead people far from the truth. Jesus, however, loved the people, and cared for them tenderly, as a shepherd cares for his sheep. Jesus said speaking of Himself, "... his sheep follow him because they know his voice."
The verse indicates a close connection, of knowing and trust, between the shepherd and the sheep. All it took was a word ... the sound of His voice ... and they knew it was Him.
If Jesus walked into the room, and we were faced the other way, would we need to turn around? Or would we recognize His voice? I hope we would smile and nod, saying, "Jesus is here!"