There is a big trend to track ancestry at the moment. Hours and hours can be spent on the web tracing family lines to see what country, town, tribe, or clan one comes from. Knowing this often brings a sense of belonging.

John 10:16 records Jesus explaining to the Pharisees that there is but “one flock and one shepherd” and that hearing His voice was the true test of belonging. As if this wasn’t audacious enough, he told them that there were “other sheep” that belonged as well. This caused a rattle among the Pharisees. They understood that they were God’s chosen sheep and that he was saying that God’s grace and salvation were for the Gentiles (the “other sheep”). A statement that was so inclusive it caused division!

When I come across verses like this one that points out God’s heart was always for everyone, I get overwhelmed with gratitude because that includes me! Without the Good Shepherd, I could not belong. God’s beautiful redemption plan is for all who trust in the Good Shepherd’s sacrifice at the cross and hear His voice. Let’s be encouraged to be sheep that guard against division so that before the throne there may be “every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Revelation 7:9).

Jessica Klootwyk
Groups & Women’s Discipleship Director

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