Summary: Sheep follow the Shepherd
Shepherd,Sheep…Ears & Feet…
John 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Jesus called those that follow Him, sheep. Thus He is the great Shepherd of the sheep.
characteristics of Shepherd/sheep)
That word, “sheep” is used at least 181 times in scripture.
Jesus called us sheep.
Of all of the animals that Jesus could have used as an example He chose sheep for a reason.
Jesus made two important observations about His flock of sheep.
They hear His voice, and they Follow Him.
While it is true that His sheep hear His voice, and follow Him…it is also true that sometimes sheep, don’t want to be sheep.
I say that because many believers struggle with hearing the voice of the Lord in their life, and following His instruction.
They often ask, “What is God’s will for my life?”
I’m not sure they always want the answer.
Why is this?
Why do we often not hear the voice of the Lord in our life?
Hearing the Voice of God…
The Ear…(pretty complex)
In general, the ear consists of three major sections: the outer, middle and inner ear. Sound is collected by the outer ear and funneled down the ear canal (outer ear). The sound vibrations cause movement of the eardrum and the chain of three tiny bones connected to it (middle ear). The middle ear system serves to intensify the energy of the sound vibrations and delivers them to the cochlea (inner ear). Inside the cochlea are thousands of tiny hair-like cells that connect to fibers of the hearing (acoustic) nerve. Sound vibrations entering the cochlea cause a wave to travel through the fluid-filled organ of hearing. This wave causes movement of the hair cells which then generate electro-chemical signals which travel through the acoustic nerve to the brain where they are recognized as sounds.
Even though we know all of that…science says that there is far more about the ear and our hearing that we don’t know.
It will probably come as no surprise to the ladies here today that men don’t hear very well, or at least hear them very well. This has been researched and the conclusion came back that men are…
“Halfwits? [Before you applause ladies, there is an actual reason for this]…Researchers in the United States have found that men only listen with half their brain, while women use both sides.”
-Dr Joseph T Lurito, Research author
(Now, don’t gloat ladies…we may not hear enough information, but you take in too much information.)
Science doesn’t know everything about how the human ear works. Poor hearing…whether you are hearing with one side of your brain, or both…often has nothing to do with the working of your ear…but, simply a problem with listening. You can be physically deaf and still hear God speak. Not hearing God speak isn’t an ear problem, but a listening problem!
What keeps a person from hearing God speak to them?
Distraction (too busy to listen)
Writer Charles Swindoll once found himself with too many commitments in too few days. He got nervous and tense about it. "I was snapping at my wife and our children, choking down my food at mealtimes, and feeling irritated at those unexpected interruptions through the day," he recalled in his book Stress Fractures. "Before long, things around our home started reflecting the patter of my hurry-up style. It was becoming unbearable.
"I distinctly remember after supper one evening, the words of our younger daughter, Colleen. She wanted to tell me something important that had happened to her at school that day. She began hurriedly, ’Daddy, I wanna tell you somethin’ and I’ll tell you really fast.’
"Suddenly realizing her frustration, I answered, ’Honey, you can tell me -- and you don’t have to tell me really fast. Say it slowly." "I’ll never forget her answer: ’Then listen slowly.’"
-Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 13-14.
Sin (poor reception)
I remember as a kid, my brother had a set of official, Apollo Astronaut walkie-talkies. Each one had a long collapsible antenna that stretched out so far you could have used it for a flagpole. We thought they worked great…even though there was a lot of static, and as long as you were no more than 8’ away!
Then the show Star Trek came out and they had those things called, “communicators”. They were some kind of wireless square thing you could hold in your hand and talk back and forth with someone who had another one…they didn’t even have antennas. (Well, that will never happen will it?)