My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10.27)
Have you ever been overcome with frustrated despair as you wonder how to get through to your professing Christian friend? Have you looked into the eyes of an unbeliever and asked yourself how you might bring them to Christ? Have you wondered how you might appeal to them and somehow have them follow the Savior? If you are a pastor, have you sat in your study and wondered how you might help people to get it?
To one degree or another all believers have struggled through such thoughts. Often times though in our noble ambitions we find ourselves retreating to unbiblical means.
We aim to make Christ more appealing to the one who seems to not think that he is so. This usually means giving Jesus something of an extreme makeover so that the eligible unbeliever might be one over. We might be tempted to change his message, his tone, his requirements, his work, his kingdom, and his demands. Suddenly our ostensibly noble goal has placed in our hands the tools of idolatry as we craft a Jesus that looks like the rebel.
But this is not the way it works.
Instead Jesus is the suitor, the rebel must change, and Christ will be found to be glorious!
Notice the everlasting rebuke upon our shameful creativity: “My sheep hear my voice…”
Ah, this is what I need to hear. I need to hear the Savior’s voice. Listen, if they are truly ‘his sheep’ then they will truly hear his voice. It is as simple as that. And this is a result of the glorious reality that the Good Shepherd knows them.
So find yourself refreshed by the wet ink of John 10. The Master’s words and actions remain true. In this context he is scrapping with the religious reprobates who do not hear his voice.
But what does Jesus do? He just keeps on preaching the glorious truth of who he is and what he is doing. He speaks of his glorious relationship with his Father. He speaks of the power of his word and work. He speaks of the hardness of their hearts. Jesus just keeps on preaching.
This is a good model and motivation for us today. Are you stressing out over how to make Christ appealing? Hear and believe the words of the Savior, ”My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
Whether in the coffee shop, the dinner table, or the pulpit, you just keep unpacking the glorious beauty of Christ’s person and work to their hearts. And if they are his sheep they will, with blood-stained regal certainty, follow Christ.