Jesus: the Good Shepherd. He calls to his sheep. His sheep hear his voice.
Jesus’ call to his sheep is to “become sheep” first of all. Then as sheep, “be sheep.” If your a sheep don’t try to be something you’re not, that is being human: “to err,” ha! Fallen, we want this and that. We look for identity and love in every which way we feel like. We wonder. Stuck in stubbornness we convince ourselves that what is wrong is right.
Jesus calls us to follow him and obey him out of love. This is a different concept that mere “following” as in follow-the-leader, a child’s game. It is a radical life of being a disciple, a true follower, a child that loves their loving Father. As with the practice of a disciple following exactly after the rabbi, in deed and also in thought and manner and belief.
Romans 3:23, 8:14, 12:2
Jesus calls us to change, conformation: not alone, but becuase he is holy and perfect and holiness is the standard for actions, God is in us and we are in him in order that we may truly worship him in both spirit and truth.
We are to “remain in” Jesus: abide in Jesus. Not some pseudo-spiritualistic-experience, we are to in a very real and relevant way abide in Jesus: Jesus’ words are to abide in us, which is the essence of the “calling to be his sheep.”
An explanation of this idea might be the organic nature of relationship rather than “religion” or religious/spiritual “experience.” Our relationship with God is dynamic, because it is just that: relationship. This gives understanding to the Old Testament idea of meditation: meditation upon something, with substance, with purpose. Meditation is the thoughtful, prayerful, thinking on God as his sheep seek to follow him, to know him, to love him.
God’s work in his kingdom is done through the Holy Spirit empowerment of his sheep, his children, his disciples, for his work: an inspired coop of outsourcing, not an outsourcing without personality, without compassion, without love.
I Peter 2:24-25
“He himself [Jesus] bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Sheep we are to be, following our shepherd as he leads.