I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own 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 do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
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Jesus said that he has "other sheep" who don't belong to this flock but who he intends to include. He may likely have been referring to Gentiles - getting the Jewish folks ready for a Gentile immigration into the flock. Today we still have "other sheep" mentality. There are few days that go by without a reminder from someone, benignly or with a little teeth, that I am a woman in a "man's job" or that I am not from around here. There are few days where there is not some reference to "them" - "those people" - "you know who I mean." Our identity and knowing the flock to whom we belong is important to us. To be a part of Jesus' flock means that these other allegiances need to have less power to separate. That sounds good but when it means letting go of the ability to mark our own territory and or deciding for ourselves who is in the flock or not, we stop listening to the shepherd's voice. From personal experience, that is not good.
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Good shepherd, help me to listen even when it is uncomfortable. Amen.