Ref: John 11:51-52, John 10:16
It is an awesome thing that God looks down on all the peoples of the world and names a flock for himself, and then sends missionaries in the name of Christ, and then leads his chosen ones to the sound of the gospel, and then saves them. They could be saved no other way. Missions is essential. “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out . . . the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:3-4).
Jesus suffered and died so that the sheep could hear his voice and live. That’s what Caiaphas said without knowing it: “Jesus would die . . . not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” He gave up his life to gather the sheep. By his blood he bought the mercy that makes his voice unmistakable to his own. Pray that God would apply that mercy to you, and that you would hear and live.
About sheep: Whenever the Bible refers to God’s people as ‘sheep’, there is always a mention of the shepherd. Too often, we focus so much on the nature of the sheep, and not on that of the shepherd.
If you think of it, the well-being of the sheep totally depends on their shepherd. If he’s good, he’ll know where to find pasture; he’ll go looking for the lost and straying members of his flock; he’ll protect them from danger…
PS. Read Ezekiel 34 and John 10:1-18 for more meditations on God as our shepherd.