10‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ 6Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
How do we recognize the voice of Jesus in modern life? This is the question posed by application of John 10–Jesus says his followers will hear his voice and avoid thieves or robbers. Really? How come there are so many stories of frauds in our culture–religious or otherwise? This sermon is my attempt to wrestle this question to the ground, as it were.
My introduction illustration comes from Walker Percy’s great book Lost in the Cosmos:The Last Self-Help Book. It’s a great read, full of humor and play but also a serious look at how we see ourselves.
The main thinking in regards to this passage from John 10 is all my own but the very interesting preaching blog called The Hardest Question assisted in my struggle. I hope this sermon will help you: