“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them.” (John 10:27)
Jesus knows those who are his. What is this knowledge?
John 10:3 is a close parallel to verse 27. It says, “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
So when Jesus says, “I know them,” this means at least that he knows them by name; that is, he knows them individually and intimately. They are not anonymous, lost in the flock.
Verses 14–15 provide another insight: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”
There is a real similarity between the way Jesus knows his Father in heaven and the way he knows his sheep. Jesus sees himself in the Father, and he sees himself in his disciples.
To some degree Jesus recognizes his own character in his disciples. He sees his own brand mark on the sheep.
He is like a husband waiting for his wife at the airport, watching as each person disembarks from the plane. When she appears, he knows her, he recognizes her features, he delights in her, she is the only one he embraces.
The apostle Paul puts it like this: “God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’” (2 Timothy 2:19).
It is hard to overemphasize what a tremendous privilege it is to be known personally, intimately, lovingly by the Son of God. It is a precious gift to all his sheep, and it contains within it the promise of eternal life.