The Virtual VBS videos will be posted on our website by 6:30 each of the 3 nights of June 28th, 29th and 30th. The videos will remain on our website for the remainder of the summer, giving families the option to watch and participate at their convenience any day, any time.
GO TO OUR VBS WEB PAGE
"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. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." (John 10:1-3 NRSV)
These familiar verses are a comfort to us, to know Jesus tells us He is our shepherd. How many times have we gotten off the path and strayed from the fold and He gently brings us back! He creates a scenic picture here talking to the crowd about the sheepfold while the Pharisees bend an ear to listen. What a beautiful statement that He calls us each by name. The message clearly is that Jesus calling us can lead us to trust and desire to follow Him as He "leads us out". But what if we don't hear Him? We aren't likely to let Him lead us! We can lose our sensitivity to God's voice calling us by name if we are too entangled in anxieties or our selfish desires.
Some other translations offer varying descriptions of how we might "hear" His voice. Words like recognize and know shed light on what it takes to hear Jesus - relationship. When we admit we want Jesus to be our shepherd, we might have to put aside our habit of only looking to the shepherd when we are too close to the edge or completely lost. Consider that the ancient Latin translation of "the Lord is my shepherd" is "the Lord rules over me". That definitely indicates serious relationship, but what does it mean to us? If Jesus rules over us, we look to him for everything and count on his giving us what we most need. That may be different than what we think we need!
The Methodist Messenger May 2020
The Bible says in verse six, many listening did not understand what Jesus was saying. It is worth noting the Pharisees who are standing by listening had just previously been questioning Jesus' healing of the man blind from birth. They are threatened by His power and He can hear them questioning themselves… "Surely we are not blind, are we?" His talk about the Good Shepherd is His answer to them, and yet they don't get it. Maybe this is because they are not in "relationship" with him. A reading of Ezekiel 34 reveals Jesus may be making a figurative attack on the leaders of Israel. See for yourself by reading the chapter that expounds on these verses: "Thus says the Lord God: Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep." (Ezekiel 34:2-3 NRSV)
God's promise comes in verse 23! "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd."
Reflect on your relationship with God. Do you see its resemblance to a relationship with a friend to whom you are naturally and gladly drawn? This is neither blind nor coerced relationship, but a deep personal bond. Recognize how much the shepherd cares for you, follow and get ready for abundance.
"I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:9-10 NRSV)
Who doesn't want to be saved, find pasture and have abundant life?! In His pasture we can find freedom, refuge from sin, true sustenance and life itself. Hear, listen, recognize, and know His voice and experience life in abundance with even more than you need.