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God Knows His Sheep By Name (John 10:3-5)

Girl holding sheep

"…The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." (John 10:3-5 ESV)

Sheep milling about in a sheep pen look remarkably the same and it is extremely difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish them from one another even after careful scrutiny. Yet, good shepherds who love their own sheep can distinguish them from one another with a mere glance. They are so familiar with their individual movements, the manner in which they toss their head, and the subtle differences in weight and figure, that they do not hesitate in identifying their very own.

But just as shepherds know each of their very own sheep by name, so also does the Good Shepherd know his own. And the implication here is not just that Christ knows the name of the sheep and nothing else about them, but rather that he has intimate knowledge of them. Christ does not know the sheep of his pasture in just some general sense, but they are individually known to him and each are precious in his sight. As a good shepherd would know if a single lamb has wandered away from the other ninety-nine, so also does Christ Jesus know when we are wandering away into the wilderness of our own sin. Nothing in our lives—no tragic circumstances, trials, or snares—escapes the notice of our Good Shepherd who knows us by name.

But, though he knows his sheep, but they know him as well. They recognize him even if they cannot see him because they hear his voice calling out to them. The sheep of his pasture know the Good Shepherd’s voice, and those that belong to their Master will not listen to a stranger’s voice. What a blessing it is to be one of God’s sheep! To be marked as his very own and to be lovingly taken care of by the Good Shepherd who gives his life for his sheep! How familiar we are with the sweet voice of the shepherd of Israel!

Believer, do you not remember the numerous times that the Lord has spoken to you throughout your life? Do you remember when the Lord first called you with the message of your own depravity and how you received it in brokenness and humility? Do you remember how our Lord Jesus searched for you and called your name when you fell into the mires of depression and the deserts of sin? Do you remember the days when you were overwhelmed by your own sense of unworthiness, how the Good Shepherd spoke to you and reminded you of his steadfast love that cast your sin from you as far as the east is from the west?

What a joy it is to serve a God who cares for the individual needs of every single one of his precious lambs! How quickly the Good Shepherd rushes to the side of his crying lambs! So, when you are tempted this week to think that you are alone or that the difficulties you face are insurmountable, remember that the Good Shepherd knows your name. Do not fear, little sheep. For it is your Master’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. And if our Father gave his very own, precious, and spotless Lamb to die on the cross for our sins, how much does he love and care for you, little lamb?

Article by: Samuel Chua


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