In Mission Together

MEMORY SELECTION: “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.” —John 10:16

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: I Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-9

THE “other sheep” which our Lord Jesus speaks of in this parable are not of the little flock who hear the Shepherd’s voice and follow him during the call of the present Gospel Age. However, he tells us that he must also bring the “other sheep” back into harmony with God. The Scriptures assure us that Jesus will bring his other sheep into the fold during the future “times of restitution.” We are told that during that judgment day (the Millennium) our Lord will have gathered before him all nations. “He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.” (Matt. 25:31-34) At that time all the families of the earth will be given ample time and opportunity to gain everlasting life on the plane of perfect human existence—that which was lost by our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden. In due time all that was lost through the disobedience of our first parents will be regained through the sacrifice of the Christ—Jesus as the Head, and the faithful members of his body who will reign with him.

The context of our memory selection, which is taken from the tenth chapter of John’s Gospel, includes the parables of the door into the sheepfold, and also the Good Shepherd. These are Jesus’ own parables, and in the first instance he says: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. … I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (vss. 7-9) In the second parable he says, “I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. … I am the Good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”—vss. 11,14

The characteristics of a good shepherd are that he loves and cares for his sheep; and our Lord Jesus, as the Great Shepherd of the little flock, has demonstrated his abundant love and care over his sheep—his faithful followers of the Gospel Age. Indeed, the Great Shepherd laid down his very life in joyful obedience to his Heavenly Father’s will and has not been negligent in assisting those who have endeavored to lay down their little all beside his perfect sacrifice.

During this Gospel Age the child of God has responded to the Shepherd’s voice, which has sounded forth with the invitation to take up one’s cross and follow him in full devotion and consecration. It has been a voice of tenderness and compassion, as well as one of discipline and authority; and when the true sheep hear the voice of the Good Shepherd it satisfies their longings as nothing else could do. They become accustomed to that voice and recognize its tonal qualities; and, in turn, the Shepherd knows each one of his sheep and can call them all by name.

During his first advent there were some who heard his natural human voice and yet did not respond to its tenderness or comprehend its teachings: “And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?” (vs. 20) It seems difficult for us to know how those who witnessed Jesus’ miracles and beheld what manner of man he was could ever respond with such blasphemy as is recorded in this passage. Yet, although we may be surprised at the small number of Jews who left all to follow him, we find that the same thing is true today—for there are few who are attracted to the truth.

The Gospel Age has been set aside for the calling and selection of a special class who have been called out of darkness into the marvelous light of the truth. The remainder of mankind continue to walk in sin and death without realizing the provisions which are being made for their recovery from this condition. But we rejoice in the blessed promises of God’s Word that in due time all of the “blind eyes shall be opened,” and all of the “deaf ears shall be unstopped.” This will be not only literal but also in the sense that the eyes and ears of their understanding will be opened to know and appreciate the everlasting provisions of grace that have been prepared for them from the foundation of the world. And at that time the whole world shall hear his voice—the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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