Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Scripture: John 10:16 (The Message)
"You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in the pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They'll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd."
They just weren't understanding him. Jesus was trying to explain who he was in terms they would understand. He was the gatekeeper. They understood what a gatekeeper was. He was the gate. They also understood that. He was the good shepherd. They knew good shepherds...and they knew bad ones. Some of the people he was trying to convince believed him, some wanted to kill him.
I'm not really sure why verse 16 is stuck in there. I may need to research that. Maybe he was hinting at the fact that those who were unable to believe yet were also part of his flock? A grand idea...unless you subscribe to the belief that only professing believers are children of God. I've actually heard a pillar of the church say that before. In other words, what he was saying to those not yet in the pen is that you really don't count unless you are part of the family of faith.
Evidently Jesus doesn't see it that way. At least John would have us believe that Jesus doesn't see it that way. "Those in the pen" are those of us who are already on the inside, but if Jesus can be believed here, those still on the outside are just as important. They, too, will recognize his voice.
How I long for the day when the one flock he speaks of becomes a reality...when the words "us" and "them" are no longer used in Christ's holy church. Unfortunately, we're not there yet.
God of one flock, teach me to see as you see. Open my eyes, open my heart, open my arms to welcome as you welcome. Show me how to live into the reality of one flock under the one good Shepherd. Amen.