Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
Although this is not easy to accept for so many who believe they have it all figured out, Jesus is not just your shepherd; he is the shepherd of all his sheep. It’s important to note that Jesus is not only the shepherd of my Baptist family nor does Jesus only shepherd Christian sheep. Jesus is the shepherd to all sheep who are his sheep. He knows each one and each one knows the shepherd’s voice.
Jesus shifts gears a bit and says something very interesting. He says, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.”
Who are these “other sheep” Jesus mentions here? There have been several creative interpretations of this phrase. The best way to get what Jesus means is to understand who his audience is. He is speaking primarily to a Jewish audience here. So when he speaks of “other sheep” he owns, it seems clearly that Jesus is referring to all non-Jews who will also be sheep who are owned by the shepherd. This will turn out to be a big deal to many of the Jews. They won’t like it and will even violently react to such a thought later.
This can especially be seen in the book of the Acts of Jesus. The Jewish leadership had a rough time giving up the idea that they owned the shepherd. NOTE Jesus never says that the sheep own the shepherd, but the shepherd is the owner of the sheep.
Let me take this one step further for your consideration. Just as the Jews had trouble with this concept of not owning the shepherd, so do Christians today have trouble with not being the sole owner of Jesus, the shepherd. Jesus is all-inclusive in that he will work with anyone anywhere. He is not owned by any group of sheep-not even the Christians. No, Jesus is more awesome than this. He is the shepherd-owner of the sheep. If you know him and hear his voice, then you are his sheep.
This is the relationship Jesus wants with you. He wants to be your shepherd. SECRET #47: The follower of Jesus relates to the Master as the good shepherd. So, get to know Jesus as your shepherd and listen for his voice. Follow him as your shepherd.