I Must Bring Them Also
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me –
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
A wise man once said that “proclaiming the Gospel is easy, but dying to self is hard.” As true as that statement sounds, I feel that we are living in a society today where most people think that both tasks are equally hard to carry out. Today, I would like to just enforce the last spoken words of our Lord Jesus before He ascended to Heaven to be with the Father, that being the Great Commission. It is unfortunate that nowadays, Christians do not see how important this means to God and in their own lives, they have the misconception that this is something that they could do without and still lead a blessed life. You see, Jesus gave out the Great Commission to His disciples at a very specific time, the time before He was to be caught up into Heaven when the disciples were going to be physically separated from God for their remaining time on earth. Therefore, just as someone makes a will before passing on, it is good to know that whatever Jesus said then must have carried substantial weight since He saved it for the last.
In John 10, Jesus said that even though He already had these many sheep, there were still others out there that did not belong to His flock. Notice that Jesus said immediately after this, that He had to bring them also, so that they too could be led and guided by Him through listening to His voice. Instead of saying ‘I should’ or ‘maybe’, Jesus said that He ‘must’, this means it was an absolute act, non-negotiable, no bargain. So how does that relate to us? Well, as we all know, the Church is called to be the body of Christ, that even though we are made up of different parts and have different gifts and talents, we are one body of Christ and the expression of Christ here on earth, that means doing the things that Jesus did and commanded throughout His life so that we can be His hands and feet. Thus, the sacred job of evangelizing and discipling in the same way also now falls on the shoulders of every Christian. We are to complete the task that Jesus has left us with similar determination. Of course, the heart behind it is equally important.
All children of God have been called a royal priesthood, we have all been given the authority and the power to preach to and teach those who do not believe, that the veils over their eyes would be lifted. To be able to do so, one has to be constantly spending time with God, seeking Him and communing with Him in order to discern what is right in God’s eyes and what is wrong, and how God wants us to live our lives for Him. As long as we are faithful, disciplined, and consistent to build an intimate relationship with God, we can be assured that the compassion and the desire to evangelize will follow very naturally, because we will realize that such a good and mighty God shouldn’t be kept a secret when we see all the people around us struggling with needs that only God can meet. So remember, my friends, if there is one thing to take away from this, it would be that we are co-heirs with Christ, and being co-heirs, we set out to do what Jesus has set out to do, nothing less. Build upon your relationship with God, work it out. Effective relationships are two-way, and the truth is that God is already fully committed and devoted to you, as He has shown you at Calvary. It’s time to stop putting up resistances and to start sinking beneath the waters to really get to know our Father in Heaven.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that You have given up Your Son to die for us so that we may be redeemed from the curse of the law and the penalties of sin. I thank You, Father, that You said in Your Word that if anyone is thirsty, he can come to You and drink, to buy wine and milk without money and without cost, all because You have paid the price for us. God, I pray that even as I have been found in You, You would instill in me a heart that yearns and craves for more of You each day. And that as I commune with You, You would fan the flames in my heart so that I desire to see more people come to know of You through the work of the Spirit who lives inside of me. Make me a true disciple of Yours, Father. In Jesus’ Most Mighty Name I pray, Amen.