27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
This is an emblematic description of the mutual relationship that exists between Christ and His genuine disciples. He described the relationship as that of a shepherd and his sheep. In these words, the Lord profoundly expresses His deep love and commitment to His people. He also assuredly speaks of His people’s commitment to Him.
The Lord calls them “My sheep”. Oh, how lovingly He regards His people as His own. He has taken ownership of them and unhesitatingly calls them “My sheep”. They were once like sheep that have gone astray, but now He has redeemed them by purchasing them with His own blood. He has earlier said that “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). So with pleasure, He now assuredly speaks of them as “My sheep.”
He not only speaks of them as His sheep, but also asserts the relationship He maintains with them. He calls out to them and makes sure that they can hear His voice. He again unhesitatingly declares that “I know them”, and thus manifests His deep affection and care for them. He knows them personally. He is well aware of their struggles, fears and needs. He knows them thoroughly. So He stays by them and leads them forward. He will make sure that they know He is there ahead of them, so they can follow Him with certainty. He never forsakes them, but always guides them forward. Even in dark valleys, He guides them forward with His voice.
The Lord also depicted His people’s response to His loving guidance and care. He said, “My sheep hear my voice”. They do not turn a deaf hear to His calling. They love to hear His voice and are ever ready to respond to His command. They would not acknowledge other voices. Only His voice they will hear. Earlier, He said, “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:5). They are very uncomfortable when other voices are heard, and quickly turn far away from them. They are not only unenthusiastic about other voices, but detest them utterly. They would only follow His voice. So the Lord said, “and they follow me”. They trust His voice and readily obey His commands. Wherever He leads, they follow.
Dear reader, turn your ears to Christ’s voice, and only to His voice. Do not follow other voices in this world. His sheep are only happy in His pasture.