Friday, November 5, 2010

A Name Or A Number?

A census worker was asking a mother some routine questions. Eventually came the question, “How many children do you have?”

“Well,” she began, “there’s Mary, Kenneth, Martha and...”

“Never mind the names,” interrupted the worker, “just the number.”

She protested quickly, “They’ve got names, they’re more than just numbers.”

In the time in which Jesus lived, it was common for families to keep their flocks of sheep in a common sheepfold. Each morning the shepherd would call his sheep to “come follow me.” Each shepherd had a peculiar tone, range of notes or sounds that alerted his sheep to follow him. The sheep knew their master’s voice and the master knew which sheep were his. Each flock had a personal relationship with their shepherd and responded to his call. It may have been a call for a feast of good grass and cool water or a time to gather close because of a dangerous situation. He cared so much for them that he would lay down his life to protect them.

No wonder Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd. Wherever we look we see numbers that represent something. But whenever Jesus looks for us or at us, He knows us by our name and calls us by that name – the name He has written in the Book of Life!

Prayer: Father, it is so comforting to know that no matter how insignificant I may feel, You know who I am, where I am and what I need. May I always be listening for Your voice and respond when You call. Amen.

Scripture: John 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (NIV)

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