To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.…
How His life is made to be, at the same time, our own, is a mystery of grace, of which you have seen many types in the garden. You once grafted something on to a fruit tree. The process, though delicate, was most simple. You only had to be careful that there should be clean, clear, close contact between the graft and the tree. The smallest shred or filament of wrapping round the graft would have prevented the life of the tree from flowing into it. The weak, bleeding graft was fastened on to the strong stem just as it was; then in due time it struck; then gradually the tiny slip grew into the flourishing bough, and lately, as you stood looking at that miracle of tender formation and soft bright flush, you almost thought it was conscious. It seemed to say, "I live; nevertheless not I, but the tree liveth in me, and the life I now live in the foliage, I live by faith in the shaft of the tree. I trust to the tree only: every moment I am clinging to it, and without it I can do nothing."
(C. Stanford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.