‘I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.’ John 10:16 (NIV)
Is this the one sin that most Christians today tolerate? Do we all secretly (or not so secretly) think that our branch of Christianity is the correct one? Jesus teaches in plain language that there does in fact exist, sheep that are not from this same sheep pen. He explains that it is His obligation to bring them with Him. They too will hear His voice! So why do we still puff ourselves up and think that we are the only ones who have the Bible deciphered right? How are we still able to look over our shoulder and judge the guy from the neighboring denomination? Have we forgotten that we are humans too? Have we forgotten that we are just as susceptible as anyone else, to failing to put God before our own agendas?
Could this be where we go wrong? Do we get hung up on our differences and preferred beliefs because we are not focusing completely on our Lord? Could we be following the example of the church leaders of Jesus´ day? Should we rather be focusing on Jesus? Should we be seeking His council? Should we be looking for His guidance? Should we be following His loving example and going out of our way to care for all God´s children everywhere? Should we be showing signs that His love is alive and growing within us? Should we resemble more the Good Samaritan? If we could all look past the earthly differences, would we be able to see that God loves all our brethren as much as He loves us? If we were to all look to Jesus instead of looking sideways at other believers, would we all be able to form part of the same flock? Would we then be following the voice of our Saviour?
Who are we to say if we are part of God´s real flock or if we are one of those that will come from out of the sheep pen? Would a heated debate solve our human differences? Would more hours of deep study prove that we are indeed the chosen ones? Or has our Lord already laid it out for us? Could Jesus be telling us again that the true sheep of His are those who are the ones who are actually hearing Him? Rather than squabble, should we each take a moment to examine our own hearts? Is the voice of Jesus booming in the ears of our soul? Are we following His encouragement in every given step of our day? Are we really resisting the urge to step out on our own wisdom and knowledge? Are we following Jesus as the only One Who has the foresight to shepherd our every step? Is He truthfully the Guide that leads our every thought? Is He truly our One and Only Shepherd? If so, then those around who are doing the same, are we all part of one flock? Is the real flock of Jesus weighed by location, race, nationality or doctrine? Or are we rather weighed by whether we hear Him, love Him and follow Him as the One Shepherd for us?
Dear Jesus, please help us to look past our human differences. We try to look past race, color and gender, but sometimes we still struggle to accept sheep from out of our pen. Please fill us with Your love! Please let us be so in tuned with You in every moment, that we may attain the esteemed title of being one of Your sheep! Let us hear Your voice today! Let us walk with You now! Show us where to place each footstep! Be the Shepherd that we follow each moment of every day! Be our One and Only! Then let us rejoice to see others who look this fully to You too! Let us be one flock in that we follow One Shepherd! Let us be found in You today!