‘The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.’ John 10:3 (NIV)
Are we still warmed at the thought of real contact with God? Jesus is explaining the actual situation between God´s children, the Christ, and the Father. Is He trying to help us past our pre-conceived ideas of worship? Man comes to religion for many reasons. Some sense a need for a more carefully planned purpose for our species or our planet. Some admit that there is intelligent design to all our existence. Some have experienced movement from unexplainable Forces in their lives. Some have been taught through convincing argument using history or the Bible. But could there be an even more intimately satisfying reason why we are drawn to consider God?
Jesus gently assists our searching hearts. He lays it out for us. He walks us through the misty spiritual truths. He says the watchman opens the gate for the Shepherd. Who could this watchman be? Is it an angel? Is it the Holy Spirit? What is this gate? Is it the barrier which keeps us from approaching God? Is it what keeps us from coming to know Him? How do we read this? Do we try to use our own fine intelligences without stopping ask the Lord to lead us into understanding? Do we attempt to do it ourselves without any spiritual assistance? Or do we bow our heads and admit our lack of sight? Do we bow our knees and our hearts to receive what the Lord would show us of His Realm?
It is important for us to examine exactly what process we are using to assimilate our dealings with God. If we remain aloof and trust our fine education or our well-groomed intelligences, then could it be possible that we are beyond the need to be led? If we have already figured out what we think and know about God, then is there really any need for a Shepherd? The very next step Jesus mentions is that the sheep listen to His voice. Does this mean that the true sheep of God are the ones who would place their own impressions on hold and let their Master herd them in every step?
Lastly Jesus states that He calls His sheep by name. He personally leads them out. Does this mean that if we have truly decided that we want to be among those precious sheep who go through that gate, we actually will have heard Him call us by name? Will we have recognized our Saviour is beckoning us individually? Is this call especially for us? Have we experienced something like this yet? Have we heard His voice? Have we realized He is calling our name? Is Jesus making a personal contact that is unique for each of us? We may all move to our own personal call and be drawn at the same time like a herd. But His call to us was by name. It was exclusive. It ties us one-on-one to Him. Is this a beautiful thought? Have we experienced this? Are we living it right now? Are we hearing our Shepherd call us to His side right now?
Dear Jesus, we have come to consider You. Thank You for trying to help us understand how it all works in the Heavenly Realms. Thank You especially for directing Yourself to each of us individually! Thank You for caring that much about each of us! Please ask the Watchman to open the Gate so we too can come to Your very side! Let us hear Your voice! Help us to be listening for it! Please help us to be the kind of sheep that You can lead! Let us hear You calling each of our names! Let us know You want each of us personally together with You! Then lead us through the Gate and unto our God we pray!