“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” vs. 3
There are echoes of Isaiah 43 in these beautiful words from Jesus. Centuries before the prophet had written, “I have called you by name, you belong to me,” and now Jesus restates this magnificent truth in a way that each believer can understand. For some it’s a reminder of baptism, that rich moment in time when all the grace and love of God is made personal for individuals. In the water and the word the presence of the Spirit is celebrated and we can know for certain that we belong to God, and that Jesus is our shepherd. It is true that we are a part of a community, and we know that all people fall under the umbrella of God’s grace. But sometimes it’s comforting to celebrate the individual relationship we have with Jesus. Think of it! Jesus knows our names–every one of us, saints and sinners alike. Each of us have significance in Christ, we’re not just part of a countless horde clamoring for attention. We are noticed. We have a name, and Jesus calls each one of us on a journey that is chock full of meaning and purpose. And no matter where we walk, whether in green pastures or shadowy valleys, we bring healing and hope to the hurting.
Thought for the Day: When have I heard Jesus call my name?