11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 When the hired hand sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. That’s because he isn’t the shepherd; the sheep aren’t really his. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 He’s only a hired hand and the sheep don’t matter to him. 14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I give up my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that don’t belong to this sheep pen. I must lead them too. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, with one shepherd. 17 “This is why the Father loves me: I give up my life so that I can take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I give it up because I want to. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father.” (John 10:11-18, CEB)
There are other sheep that don’t belong to this sheep pen that belong to the whole of my sheep, Jesus said here. What does that mean?
Well if you see the sheep pen as your local congregation, then other congregations are also a part. Or if you see the sheep pen as your denomination then other denominations are a part. If you see the sheep pen as the protestant denominations, then the Catholic and Eastern churches are a part too. If you see the sheep pen as all of those who are Christian regardless of denomination, then there are sheep outside the Christian church that belong too.
The thing I see in this is we shouldn’t judge someone because they have a “different” faith than ours. We are all created by God and therefore loved by God. So we need to love all people because we don’t really know who the other sheep are.
Love People. Love God.