by Lenny Cacchio
My wife’s uncle used to run cattle, and whenever we visited him, he would take us to his acreage in his old Jeep and we would drive around looking for the livestock.
I was soon to learn that he had a unique way of finding the cattle and we never even had to go inside the fence. He pulled up to his barn, walked over to the gate, and Uncle Sammy simply cranked up his lungs and yelled, "Calves! Calves!" In a just a few minutes a dozen or so beasts appeared over the top of the rise and came right up to the fence, where he fed them a nutritional treat.
It is no stretch to relate this to the words of Jesus: "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." (John 10:4-5 NKJV)
While cows aren't sheep, Uncle Sammy's cows certainly knew their master's voice, and they knew that voice meant something special for them.
I could attempt to wax eloquent about that allegory, but the bottom line is the eloquence of Jesus Christ, which is unmatched in its simple depth. Listen to the words of your Shepherd, your true Pastor:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father. (John 10:11-18)
In effect he says, "No one cares for you as I do. The hireling is just interested in his paycheck and at the first sign of danger, he'll move to protect his own posterior and leave the sheep to fend for themselves. But the True Shepherd will lay down his life for the sheep, because He cares for the sheep."
Remember those words when mere men tell you of their care for you.