Friday, September 11, 2009
Christ Knows His Own
(Today's devotional from J. R. Miller)
“I… know my sheep.”
The Oriental shepherds had certain marks by which they knew their own sheep. Even in this country the farmers put marks on their sheep, — their own initial, or an “ear-mark,” or some other particular sign by which they will know them anywhere. Christ knows His people by certain distinguishing marks.
He knows them by their faces. There is something in every true child of God which shows where he belongs, — some family likeness, some feature of the Divine image shining out. The prodigal’s father knew his son when he saw him a long way off. In his rags, his beggary, amid the traces of dissipation, the eye of love recognized the child. Christ knows His own, however dim the likeness, by their faces. The crowds do not recognize heaven’s princes in the humble Christians they meet; but every angel knows them. Not only does Christ know His own by their faces, but also by their voice. The mother knows her child’s voice anywhere, even in the darkness, and can distinguish it among a thousand voices. Christ knows the voices of His own wherever He hears them speak or cry..
He knows them also by their character. Even if the outside is rough and uncouth, it does not hide from His eye the inner life, the spirit, the heart. He saw the future Peter with all his grandeur of character in the rude Simon who was brought to Him. He knows His friends by their obedience. He knows the white garments of righteousness which His redeemed ones wear. He knows His disciples by their following where He leads. He knows the penitent heart by the fragrance it puts forth. It is an altar of incense. It is a box of ointment broken open. As we find out the hiding-places of flowers by their odours, so God knows the home of the penitent heart by the sweetness that floats up from it. He knows His own.
(Picture by Francis Hook)