"I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep — and My sheep know Me." — John 10:14
"The Good Shepherd" — well can the sheep who know His voice, attest the truthfulness and faithfulness of this endearing name and word. Where would they have been through eternity — had He not left His throne of light and glory, traveling down to this dark valley of the curse, and giving His life a ransom for them? Think of His love to each separate member of the flock — wandering over pathless wilds with unwearied patience and unquenchable ardor, ceasing not the pursuit — until He finds it.
Think of His love now — "I AM the Good Shepherd." Still that tender eye of watchfulness following the guilty wanderers — the glories of Heaven and the songs of angels unable to dim or alter His affection — the music of the words, at this moment coming as sweetly from His lips as when first He uttered them, "I know My sheep." Every individual believer — the weakest, the weariest, the faintest — claims His attention. His loving eye follows me day by day out to the wilderness — marks out my pasture, studies my needs, and trials, and sorrows, and perplexities — every steep ascent, every brook, every winding path, every thorny thicket!
"He goes before them." It is not rough driving — but gentle guiding. He does not take them over an unknown road; He Himself has trodden it before. He has drunk of every "brook by the way;" He Himself has "suffered being tempted;" He is "able to support those who are tempted." He seems to say, "Fear not! I cannot lead you wrong; follow Me in the bleak wasteland, the blackened wilderness — as well as by the green pastures and the still waters. Do you ask why I have left the sunny side of the valley — carpeted with flowers, and bathed in sunshine — leading you to some high mountain alone, some cheerless spot of sorrow? Trust Me! I will lead you by paths you have not known — but they are all known to Me, and selected by Me — Follow Me!"
"My sheep know Me!" Reader! can you subscribe to these closing words of this gracious utterance? Do you "know" Him in all the glories of His person — in all the completeness of His finished work — in all the tenderness and unutterable love of His every dealingtowards you?
It has been remarked by Palestine travelers, that not only do the sheep there follow the guiding shepherd — but even while eating the herbage as they go along, they look wistfully up to see that they are near him. Is this your attitude — "looking unto Jesus?" "In all your ways acknowledge Him — and He will direct your paths." Leave the future — to His providing. "The Lord is my Shepherd — I shall not lack." I shall not lack! — it has been beautifully called "the bleating of Messiah's sheep." Take it as your watchword during your wilderness wanderings, until grace is perfected in glory. Let this be the record of your simple faith and unwavering trust, "Theseare those who follow — wherever He sees fit to guide them." "His sheep follow Him — for they know His voice."