Wednesday, December 22, 2010

True Sheep in unexpected places?

I've been wondering from time to time about the mantra heard in many churches regarding those "good people" we all know who will never darken the doorstep of a church for one reason and another, yet they live lives that look more Christlike than that of many professing Christians.

While reading Jesus' explanation of a parable in the book of John, this statement stood out for me:

"But the true sheep did not listen to them..."

It opens up for me the concept that there are still a lot of Christ's followers in the world who have not heard the voice of the True Shepherd in any churchs they may have experienced, yet still they do hear it somehow, at least sometimes, and live accordingly. And when they do eventually encounter The Shepherd more directly and intimately, they will indeed respond more fully yet. Isn't this why Jesus hung out with people outside the overtly religious circles of his day? And might it not explain why he found a better reception there than he did with the Religious Ones?

I'm wondering...

John 10:7-10 (NLT)
... "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. [8] All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. [9] Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. [10] The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

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