To listen to Nancy’s answer recorded from Moody radio, click below.
One of the most amazing things about Jesus is that He is not only the all-powerful creator of the Universe but also a personal God. He created each of us uniquely different from one another with the potential to love and have a close relationship with Him. God is not distant; He is near. He chose to live among us.
John 1:14 says, “The Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.””What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? (Deuteronomy 4:7)
“I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
What does it mean to know God?
“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:3-6).
One of the most informative images of Jesus found the in the Bible is the Good Shepherd. Through this, Jesus clarifies His character and mission on earth by saying, “My sheep hear My voice. I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27). Jesus did this so His followers would know He is a kind, caring, and godly leader. He is unlike the abusive religious leaders of their time who constantly came up against Jesus and His disciples. Knowing the shepherd’s voice was important because a single sheep pen held multiple flocks. Jesus followers knew His voice and followed Him into His sheepfold where they would be safe.
We think of obedience as a chore but Jesus designed it to protect and guide us.
This is how Christians should live: Jesus should not have to push or prod us to follow Him. Believers follow because they know His voice through His word and prayer. They willingly obey His commands because they trust Him completely.
“After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:4).
“And the Lord said to Moses, ‘This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name'” (Exodus 33:17).
“My sheep hear My voice” refers to those who listen with an obedient heart. This kind of listening leads us to a strong faith that demands action. We do not need to know the the why of command nor the risks involved. By faith, we know that we are safe with God and will obey Him at any cost to us personally. The blessings of obedience are priceless!
“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him” (Psalm 91:14–150)
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
If there are true sheep, then there must be false sheep as well?
The term “My sheep” supports the idea that there are true and false sheep. True sheep know, love, listen to, and obey the Good Shepherd’s voice. The false sheep reject the truth of the Shepherd and live out their lives with themselves as their own shepherd, or they join a group with a false shepherd leader who may use Christian words at times but are not followers of the Good Shepherd.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Timothy 4:3).
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
What are the blessings of obedience?
To those who hear and respond to the call of the Good Shepherd, they are saved by grace through faith, and enter into His sheepfold to live with Him forever.
Of His sheep, Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (John 10:28–30).