I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
– John 10:14-18
Jesus stated clearly, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” He stresses “my” sheep. He stresses a two-sided relationship.
We live in a social media world. We think we know everyone – but we don’t. A few weeks ago I had 200 people wish me “Happy Birthday!” through Facebook. Do they know me? Do I know them? The answer is “no.” But God knows me and he’s given me the ability to know him. God knows you and you can know him.
It’s about a relationship. There is room in God’s sheep pen for you.
God’s sheep pen is large. Jesus states clearly, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also.” In this context, Jesus is speaking to a Jewish audience and is informing them that Gentiles have God as their shepherd as well. It’s a big sheep pen. Yet, this is one of those statements that take a bigger picture.
To those who think the pen is big: Jesus states, “Narrow is the way.”
To those who think the pen is small: Jesus states, “I have other sheep.”
He’s keeps the focus on a relationship to him. Anyone with a relationship to the shepherd is welcomed into the pen.