“’I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 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. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.’ Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them… ‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me… My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.’” — John 10:1-6, 14, 27
You have probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know!” That saying does not come from the Bible. However, it’s biblically correct. Entrance into heaven, into God’s Kingdom, comes not by what you know, but by Who you know. The religious leaders of Israel, the Pharisees, knew the Scriptures thoroughly. However, they did not know God! In John 5:39-40, Jesus leveled this accusation against them, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
In John 10, Jesus uses the illustration of a shepherd and his sheep to explain the relationship that exists between God (Jesus) and true believers. Shepherds and their sheep spend a lot of time together. The sheep become familiar with the shepherd’s voice. The shepherd probably has names for each one of his sheep similar to the way we have names for our pets. When a shepherd brings his flock to town for the night, he leads them into a common pen where other flocks are being kept. All the sheep are mixed together. But this is not a problem. When the time arrives for a shepherd to gather his sheep and leave, he simply calls out to them. They follow him because they know him and recognize his voice.
Do you truly know Jesus? Jesus says, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” Are you listening to his voice? Do you read the Scriptures and hear him speaking to you? Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Are you truly following Jesus?
In closing, here is a warning, not to scare you, but to make sure you carefully examine your relationship with Jesus, or lack of one. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
Remember, it’s not about what you know, but Who you know. Do you know Jesus?