Jesus continues in today’s Gospel from John 10:1-10 telling us that he is the gatekeeper and that he calls his sheep by name and they follow him because they recognize his voice. He also mentions that there are thieves and robbers before him but his sheep do not listen to them. He tells us “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Our names are pretty important to Jesus. I am pretty sure that if you are writing about Jesus or reading about Jesus, you have been called by your name to follow Jesus. We have the free will to not follow. We can be the one from the hundred sheep that goes off on its own amidst the thieves and robbers while the other 99 continue to follow Jesus. We also know that Jesus is not going to give up on the one stray but continue to search until he will bring the stray back to the flock.
That is good news! The Gospel, which means Good News is our love letter from our Shepherd. As I begin my work week this Monday, I am going to listen for my name to be called. Every time someone says my name or calls me by name, I hope to whisper, yes Lord, your servant is listening and hopefully in every relationship I will follow my Shepherd and avoid all those that come to steal, slaughter and destroy. I love you Jesus! Amen.