168. “I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14).
How do sheep know their shepherd? Seems such is not an inherent knowledge, but one that needs to be cultivated. Because of what the shepherd has done to care for the sheep, the sheep become familiar with and learn to trust the shepherd. He is their Protector, their Leader, their Provider. And as He cares for them and knows them by name, they learn His. They begin to recognize His voice, the same voice that called to them in kindness, the same voice that corrected them in times of failure. Sheep know their shepherd’s voice because it is the only voice that speaks safety and hope for their futures.