When our son was younger, he had an illness that necessitated regular trips to the doctors. We got to the embarrassing point that when I would ring up for an appointment, the receptionist would know it was me before we got to the ‘What’s your name’ stage. She knew it was me, she recognised my voice!
Jesus speaks of a similar situation with God.
The sheep follow the shepherd, because they know his voice, they recognise him, they know he will take them to a place of safety, where they will be cared for; that he will be with them every step of the journey; that he will lead them and never abandon them.
I suppose one of the most difficult questions for Christians is how do we recognise the voice of God from amongst all the other people or things out there?
One way is to make sure that we are able to recognise his voice from among the others clamouring for our attention. To spend time listening to him, so we can recognise his voice – it is familiar to us.
Shepherd or thief – which way do you want to go?
help me to follow you through the gate,
not sneak over the wall
with the one who would rob.
May I learn to know your voice,
that I may turn from the others
and follow you.