My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. - John 10:27, NKJV
The Eastern shepherd of Jesus’ day raised his sheep primarily in the Judean uplands. The countryside was rocky, hilly, and creased with deep crevices and ravines. Patches of grass were sparse. So the shepherd had to establish a personal relationship with each sheep, nurturing its love and trust in order to lead it to where the path was the smoothest, the grass was the greenest, the water was the cleanest, and the nights were the safest. The shepherd always led the sheep. He knew their names, and when he called them, they recognized his voice and, followed him. When he stopped, the sheep huddled closely around him, pressing against his legs. Their personal relationship with him was based on his voice, which they knew and trusted.
The Bible describes our relationship with Jesus as being similar to the relationship between the Eastern shepherd and his sheep – a relationship based on the sound of His voice. And make no mistake about it, His voice is God’s Word, the Holy Bible.