by Nick and Brian Schwarz
Click here to download your printable verse to carry with you today.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no-one will snatch them out of my hand (John 10:27,28).
A visitor to Israel, observing a shepherd leading a flock of sheep, once conducted an experiment. He put on the shepherd’s cloak, took hold of the shepherd’s crook and called the sheep to follow him. But the sheep just ignored him. Why? Because what they heard was a strange voice. Even though the man now looked somewhat like their shepherd, they recognised that he was a fake, an impostor. He was not to be trusted like their real shepherd – the one who knew them intimately, who cared for them daily and was prepared to sacrifice his life to keep them safe.
Sadly, there are pastors, teachers and leaders who masquerade as shepherds of God’s flock but whose voices sound different to that of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Rather than stressing what God has done for us through Jesus, they emphasise what you must do to win God’s favour. Rather than giving glory to Jesus, they tend to seek glory for themselves. Rather than acting as humble servants, they act like proud bosses.
False shepherds can do great damage to God’s flock. Beware of them. Become so familiar with the voice of Jesus that you can quickly detect the difference between those who are genuine shepherds and those who are not.
Dear God, we thank you for shepherds whose voices are in tune with the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Bless them. Help us to become so familiar with Jesus’ voice that we can quickly recognise true shepherds from imposters. Amen.