Recognizing the Voice of Jesus

May 1, 2020  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

Man listening to message on his cell phone

When my wireless provider introduced HD Voice, the voice I heard on my phone was unbelievably clear, and it felt at times like both the caller and I were in the same room. The best aspect of this feature is that it didn’t cost the customer any additional fees, and it didn’t require any changes to the phone. I could say it was free, but I suspect I was already paying for it in my monthly bill anyway. At least it felt free.

The clearer the voice calling you, the easier it is to recognize who it is on the other end of the line. In John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of the gatekeeper who opens the gate and calls for his sheep. They respond because they know his voice. Others try to lure the sheep when the gatekeeper is not there, but the sheep find their voices unclear or unfamiliar.

Jesus is our gatekeeper. But unlike receiving something for free from a wireless company, to be able to hear his voice we need to pay attention and practice listening. By developing a stewardship way of life that is mindful and prayerful, we become attuned to his voice and are able to discern when the call is from our Lord and when it is from an imposter. It is great to talk about all the things we can do and all the gifts we can share, but if we are not listening for his call to hear where our offerings are needed, we can end up like a lost sheep searching for the gatekeeper.

—Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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