Read John 10:1-18.

God’s second chances are not only irrevocable; they’re also intimate. Jesus might invite everyone to come, but He speaks with each of us personally. He cares for every one of us in a special way.

Jesus said, “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. . . . I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:2-3, 14).

The Good Shepherd knows His sheep by name—every last one. Each one is special to Him. Each one is loved by Him.

When the women came from the tomb and told Peter that the angel had mentioned him by name, the fisherman discovered for himself just how good the Good News really is. He was not just “one of the disciples.” He was Peter. Jesus wanted to communicate with him personally.

Peter, of course, had two names; he was also called Simon. Jesus had made much of his friend’s name when Peter made his good confession: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), to which Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (vv. 17-18).

In the Greek language, “Peter” is Petros, which sounds a lot like the word for “rock,” petra. Jesus was saying that Peter’s good confession is the solid rock on which His Church would be built. And it was the name Peter that the angel used. In Jesus’ eyes, Peter was still the same man who made that good confession. There was still a place for him in the work left to be done.

Sometime after the women delivered the angel’s message, there was a private meeting between Jesus and Peter (see Luke 24:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:5). We don’t know what Jesus said to His friend, but the encounter must have been an experience of overwhelming love and forgiveness.

Likewise, Jesus wants to speak intimately with us. That’s why He sends His Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, to communicate His love, grace, and Truth.   

Prayer: Father, thank You that You know me completely. There is nothing about me that would surprise You—and so I can know I am accepted as I am. What a relief! What a precious gift! May I live for You, my Savior. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:2-3).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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