Lately, I’ve been taking a hard look at many of the statements that Jesus made. The more I dig, the more I realize that Jesus made so many definitive statements, but the fascinating part is that He hardly ever qualifies them. What do I mean by that? Take John 10:27 for example: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Now, that’s a passage that many people are familiar with, and anyone can argue that it’s a strong assertion made by our Savior. However, when you dig a little deeper, how many can fully identify how it works on a practical level?
What does Jesus mean when He says his sheep ‘hear’ His voice? Do Jesus’ sheep hear His voice audibly? Is Jesus always ‘speaking’ to His sheep? I can ask question after question, and even after digging into the original language and context, I’m still left with quite a bit of intrigue.
We as humans put a lot of stock into our minds. It is very easy for me to project what Jesus’ intentions were behind His many statements, but in reality – and if I’m intellectually honest – I really cannot put a solid method in place for what Jesus is saying, and many times that makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable. My mind wants to figure it out. I want to know the formula for hearing Jesus’ voice and then pass that secret onto others.
Ultimately, I’ve come to believe that Jesus was very deliberate about the way He said things. He knows our minds, and He knows our hearts. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are constantly looking for ways to figure out this Christian process, which can very quickly turn into a religious attitude, similar to what the Pharisees struggled with. Not fully knowing what Jesus’ statements mean causes us to do one thing: press deeper into Him! If our heartcry is to encounter Jesus, then I believe His sheep will know on an individual level what ‘hearing’ Him really looks like. It may not look the same for everyone – and that’s okay. Stop trying to slap a formula on Jesus’ statements. He never did, and if we maintain the heart of a simple-minded sheep, then we won’t either.