By Mel Jasmin
On Sunday, April 25, we will celebrate the Good Shepherd Sunday.
Sheep are followers. Following isn’t something sheep have to think about—it’s an instinct. Sheep remember faces. They recognize faces of other sheep and even of humans who work with them regularly. They are almost human, because sheep remember who treats them well— and even more, they remember who handles them harshly. Sheep find safety in numbers, and when grazing, sheep will keep at least 4-5 other sheep in view. They are very social and extroverted animals, for they do not do well alone, and they value supporting each other by sticking together at all costs. A lost sheep is critical because they do not do well alone.
When Jesus begins a statement with "Amen, amen I say to you” it means serious business in the Gospel of John. Twice Jesus says this to make a strong point, and he also says he is the gate twice—for he is the true gate. The Pharisees who deny Jesus as the way are no better than thieves trying to climb over the wall of a sheepfold, instead of entering through the gate.
To be in the Lord’s flock is to be in a life-changing, transformative relationship with the Lord. To know the Lord is to see our life changed by that very relationship. It is to know the voice of Jesus and be able to distinguish it from others, so that in all things God may be glorified.