Verse of the Day

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pastor's Sermon Notes: Five Words You Must Understand (series), Part Twenty-six: “My sheep hear My voice.” (John 10:27)

Sermon Series:
Five Words You Must Understand

1 Corinthians 14:19
Yet in the church I had rather speak
five words with my understanding,
that by my voice I might teach others also,
than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

Part Twenty-six: John 10:27
“My sheep hear My voice.”


On the old Daniels and Webster program on ROCK107 we often heard from one Walter Nepasky.  He would begin his commentary in his very recognizable “Coal Cracker” dialect with either, “I'm Walter Nepasky and today I wanna talk about tree tings.”, or “Hi. My name is Walter Nepasky. How ya doin’? Today I want to talk to you about tree tings.”

What if we had a modern Christian radio station —The Rock of Ages 316 — with a program that began, “Hi, I’m Paul of Tarsus, and today I want to talk about five words.”

The Apostle Paul wrote: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding,
that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.[1]

Paul follows up his introduction on The Rock of Ages 316 with his personal example — an extreme preference framed as a mathematical proportion: 5 versus 10,000. This is Paul’s “druthers”!  This is when 5 is better than 10,000!

If Paul were here, and you could pin him down to a literal selection of five words, what do you think he would choose?  “Gimme Five Paul!”

Before we get to a selection from the list of five word Scripture passages that might be in Paul’s “in box” we should also consider how Charles Haddon Spurgeon went even beyond Paul, perhaps due to “spiritual inflation” in the intervening centuries!

“But the seed, though very small, was a living thing. There is a great difference between a mustard seed and a piece of wax of the same size. Life slumbers in that seed. What life is we cannot tell. Even if you take a microscope you cannot spy it out. It is a mystery, but it is essential to a seed. The Gospel has a something in it not readily discoverable by the philosophical inquirer, if, indeed, he can perceive it at all. Take a maxim of Socrates or of Plato, and inquire whether a nation or a tribe has ever been transformed by it from barbarism to culture. A maxim of a philosopher may have measurably influenced a person in some right direction, but who has ever heard of a someone's whole character being transformed by any observation of Confucius or Socrates? I confess I never have. Human teachings are barren. But within the Gospel, with all its triteness and simplicity, there is a divine life and that life makes all the difference. The human can never rival the divine, for it lacks the life-fire. It is better to preach five words of God's Word than five million words of human wisdom. Human words may seem to be the wiser and the more attractive, but there is no heavenly life in them. Within God's Word, however simple it may be, there dwells an omnipotence like that of God from whose lips it came.”[2]

Note: The five word statements from Scripture selected may not actually be five word statements in  either the Hebrew or Greek originals, nor are they necessarily complete sentences or verses in English language translations from the Hebrew and Greek, including the King James Version  which is the source translation for the statements.  Nevertheless, they were selected for the fundamental truths and span of doctrine that they present.  The current list of 37 examples is not intended to be comprehensive, and may easily be expanded or consolidated.

The 37 selections are categorized under the following four headings:
The Person of Christ — The Redeemer
The Work of Christ (as Prophet, Priest and King) — Redemption Accomplished
The Salvation of Christ — Redemption Applied
The Return of Christ — Redemption Revealed

The advantage of short simple sentences like these is that they are easy to remember. There is little or no danger of our failing to see the forest for the trees! May these words ring in our ears, resonate in our minds, and abide in our memories.

Now for one of the possible selections from Paul’s “in box”:

The five word statement to be considered on this occasion, “My sheep hear My voice,” falls under the third of these four headings, The Salvation of Christ — Redemption Applied.


I. The Possession of the Sheep by the Shepherd: My sheep
II. The Grace of Hearing from the Shepherd: hear
III. The Recognition of the Voice of the Shepherd: My voice


We have gone to the Gospel of John several times in the past in this series,[3] including one from this very chapter: “I am the Good Shepherd.” (Jn. 10:11).[4]

I. The Possession of the Sheep by the Shepherd: My sheep

The setting for this statement:
the previous monologue,
the reaction to the monologue,
the location,
the occasion,
the audience

The Shepherd lays claim to those who are His.
The Shepherd speaks of them as “mine.”

They are His because they were given to Him by the Father.
They are His because He has purchased them.

They are His because He keeps them.
He will never lose even one of them.
This Great and True Shepherd never loses a sheep!
No! Not one!

Mt. 18:12-13 - How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Those who are not known by Him as His sheep are referred to as goats.
This distinction embraces the entire human race.

Mt. 25:32-33 - And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Under-shepherds do well to bear this in mind!

Jn. 21:16-17 - He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

His sheep are treated by the world like He was:

Rom. 8:36 - As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

I am His sheep, and He is my shepherd! (with the emphasis on the first)

II. The Grace of Hearing from the Shepherd: hear

The sheep are not deaf when it comes to the call of the Shepherd.
The sheep do not have this ability naturally.

The ability to hear the voice of the Shepherd is a grace gift.
Having ears to hear is a blessing from God.

What the sheep hear is the call of the Shepherd.
The call of the Shepherd is an effectual call.

It is of interest that this verb is plural here in this verse, but the previous usage in verses 3-4 is singular! Yet the subject in both cases is plural. 
[See the following on this: F. Blass, and A. Debrunner, trans. and rev. Robert W. Funk, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 9th ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1961),, pp. 73-74, §133; and A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), pp. 403-404.]

“Let him who has ears to hear hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.” (Rev. 2-3)

“We have heard the joyful sound, the Shepherd’s voice, the Shepherd’s voice”

 1 Pet. 2:25 - For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

1 Pet. 5:4 - And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

III. The Recognition of the Voice of the Shepherd: My voice

There are many voices.
There are other voices.

There are thieves and robbers.
There is only one Shepherd.

Mt. 7:15: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Jeremiah 23
Ezekiel 34
[Matthew 23]

The sheep are able to distinguish the true from the false.
The sheep have the ability to discern the true Shepherd from the thieves and robbers.

RCA Victor, and the historical background to “His Master’s Voice”

The artist, Francis Barraud, was commissioned by the gramophone company to paint 24 replicas of his original. One of these paintings is seen drying in the background in this photograph.[5]

In England, artist Francis Barraud (1856-1924) painted his brother's dog Nipper listening to the horn of an early phonograph during the winter of 1898. Victor Talking Machine Company began
using the symbol in 1900, and Nipper joined the RCA family in 1929.[6]


“Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace!
O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.

Heav’n above is softer blue,
Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue
Christless eyes have never seen;
Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,
Flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.
Since I know, as now I know,
I am His, and He is mine.

Things that once were wild alarms
Cannot now disturb my rest;
Closed in everlasting arms,
Pillowed on the loving breast.
O to lie forever here,
Doubt and care and self resign,
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His, and He is mine.
While He whispers in my ear,
I am His, and He is mine.

His forever, only His;
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss
Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.
But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.”[7]

Heb:13:20: Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

[Sermon preached 9 AUG 2015 by Pastor John T. “Jack” Jeffery at Wayside Gospel Chapel, Greentown, PA.]

End Notes:

[1] 1 Corinthians 14:19.

[2] Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Mustard Seed: A Sermon for the Sabbath-School Teacher” (Lk. 13:18-19), Sermon No. 2110, delivered 20 OCT 1889, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, U.K.; in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 35 (1889), pp. 565ff.; in Charles H. Spurgeon, The Parables of Our Lord (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2003), pg. 707; and on The Spurgeon Archive at [accessed 23 DEC 2014].

[3] 13 of the 37 texts in this series are from the Gospel of John, more than from any other Biblical book.

[4] Part 3, 3 APR 2011.

[5] Design Boom at [accessed 11 SEP 2015].

[6] See “His Master’s Voice,” on Wikipedia at [accessed 11 SEP 2015]; Rain Noe, “HMV Logo Origin Story: A Painter, a Dog, a Dead Guy and a Record Player” (13 APR 2011), on Core77 at [accessed 11 SEP 2015]; “Nipper,” on Wikipedia at [accessed 11 SEP 2015]; and “Francis Barraud,” on Wikipedia at [accessed 11 SEP 2015].

[7] George W. Robinson (1876); on CyberHymnal at [accessed 11 SEP 2015].

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