In John 10:14-15 Jesus states, “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.”
Such a statement leads us implicitly to trust the shepherd, Jesus because he is prepared to lay down his life for us, the sheep. Furthermore, leading us to the question how is trust demonstrated?
Jesus invites people to enter the gate by opening it for them. Sometimes we accept invitations without hesitation while with others we may ponder over them for days or even decline them. The question is why the different responses?
I think the invitations we accept without hesitation are those that we know don’t require any input from ourselves and we are guaranteed a great time. The invitations that we hesitate to accept or decline are those where we have preconceived ideas about the event and what it may demand from us in the form of input that may challenge us in some way. That may be because they may ask us to contribute or the people who attend we find confronting.
So how do we know that we have embraced that invitation?
Jesus says in John 10:16 “They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” So, what is Jesus doing to empower his flock to trust and follow him?
Like a shepherd who wants the sheep to listen to him, Jesus wants us to understand his message and proclaim it to others. If we are excited by what a person has to say and we want to be involved in their vision it motivates us to be around that person and take the time to be with them. Hence, our trust in them means we readily take up the invitation.
At the same time when we hesitate or decline an invitation maybe we are missing out on a chance to get know other people and enjoy ourselves. By reserving judgement, we allow ourselves to make a wise decision.
For Jesus, it was to go beyond his sheep pen stating, “those who are not of this sheep pen I must bring them also.” Thus, Jesus goes out of his sheep pen and trusts his message will encourage others to follow him. We too need to take the opportunity to go beyond our circle and invite others to share their lives with us.
Hence, take the risk and place our trust in the Lord.