John 10:16 – 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. (NIV)
My father-in-law, Bill Smith, was a remarkably talented man. He was a hydraulic engineer, so he could fix basically anything that was mechanical. He grew up in the countryside, and as a young man, worked on various farms. I guess he learned how to repair things when he worked with farming machinery.
Years later, I remember one occasion when he took an empty can and cut it apart with metal shears. I wondered what he was doing as he flattened out the piece of metal and folded it over several times. He then put it to his lips and blew. He had made a whistle! I don't know how he did it, but I was really impressed. I think he learned this craft when he worked for a short time as a shepherd.
Scottish shepherds use whistles to guide their collie dogs as they herd the sheep over the hills. A talented shepherd can herd sheep half a mile away by blowing different signals to his dog. It's a remarkable feat and requires a lot of concentration by the shepherd and his dog, as well as the willing cooperation of the sheep!
From the Scriptures, we know that Christ is our Good Shepherd and that He calls us to His flock. Today's Bible verse has been used by some people to suggest falsely that other religions are acceptable to Him. They state that the "other sheep" are adherents of other faiths. But those who interpret Scripture in this fashion conveniently forget the next part: that they will listen to Christ's voice and then become part of the one flock.
In other words, to be accepted by Christ, they have to listen to Him and follow Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You call all people to listen to Your voice and become Your followers. You want everyone to be a part of the one, true flock. Help us to help You with this calling. Grant us the courage to ask others to come to church, to come and be a part of Your kingdom. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.