He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
The Shepherd and His flock. What an attractive description of the relationship between the Teacher and His students.
The Teacher is on a first name basis with His students. He has a personal relationship with each one.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
In Jesus’ time it was common practice for the shepherds to bring their sheep in from the fields at the end of the day. The sheep were placed in a guarded enclosure at night.
There all the flocks were mixed up together. But in the morning the shepherds would come and call their sheep. Knowing the voice of their own shepherd, each flock was easily re-grouped for the day.
Today, Jesus is assembling His flock.
His voice, His teaching is calling out. And all who belong to Him hear His voice and follow Him. And He leads them.
What an appropriate description of the Teacher-student relationship. Students of Jesus have learned to listen to His voice every day. They seek to go where He leads.
Listening, paying attention to the voice of Jesus is what identifies and separates His flock from those who are listening to someone or something else.
Do we begin each new day listening for the Shepherd’s voice?