Sheep are valuable in that they provide wool, meat, and milk. They also naturally herd, meaning that keeping a flock of sheep together is pretty manageable. However, when sheep feel threatened, they have one defense: huddle together and run away. The only way a shepherd can get a sheep to go where he wants is for him to gently lead it along, walking ahead of it. Eventually, the whole flock will come to know and recognize the shepherd’s voice and words.
Why all the sheep facts? So you can be the life of the next party, of course. No, it’s just interesting that Jesus often refers to people as sheep and Himself as the Good Shepherd. And just as a shepherd will search and search for any sheep that finds itself somehow separated from the flock until he finds it, so Jesus does likewise – He pursues the lost people of the world, calling to them in the voice they recognize. And when they respond to what they’ve heard by trusting in Jesus, He lovingly carries them to the flock—His Church—rejoicing all the way. (See Luke 15:1-7 for more!)
A key idea to understand here is that sheep respond to a voice and a word they recognize.Sheep may not be too intelligent, but they’ll trust a shepherd they know. If someone they don’t know tries to herd them with words they don’t understand, they will run away in fear. When they hear the voice and words they know, they respond in trust.
Do you see where the metaphor is going? Just like sheep, we need to listen to our Shepherd in a voice we know and a language we understand. And while you—who can read this blog in English—likely have very easy access to an English Bible, there are millions of people around the world who have no access to the words of Jesus. Many have had little access to education and thus cannot read. For generations, they have only communicated orally. Life revolves around the spoken word. These are oral peoples.
How can these sheep get to know the Good Shepherd if they’ve never heard His voice in words they understand?
Fortunately, there is hope for them. Faith Comes By Hearing is actively providing new audio recordings of Bible translations granted to us by our partners and making them available around the world. As of this writing, we now offer over 1,100 Scripture recordings, and there are hundreds more translations that will be recorded.
You may have already stopped by our blog and read the testimonies of people who responded to the Bible after hearing it in their own language for the first time. Today, we need your support to record these next languages and share the precious words of the Good Shepherd with the lost sheep of the world. Will you come alongside us to finish this work?