PASSAGE: "I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd" (John 10:16).
COMMENT: This is one of several times in the Gospels when Jesus seems very aware that his ultimate ministry is meant to be far larger than could be defined by the people around him. However supportive and comfortable it may be to stay within the defined limits of his very small world, he is aware that there are other sheep, on other spiritual paths, who need to hear his voice. He is teaching and demonstrating spiritual truths that are universal; they are not exclusively for Jews or to be limited to any single spiritual belief system. This awareness doesn't necessarily change what he's doing in his immediate moment; but the universality of his message requires him to be conscious and careful of the words he chooses to teach the truth.
It's certainly true for us today as well. We can get quite comfortable on our chosen spiritual path, feeling tightly connected to those who share our beliefs. In ministerial terms, we can begin “preaching to the choir.” But the spiritual principles of Unity are universal principles. No one owns them, and no one is apart from them. Our emphasis is not to be on getting everyone to join Unity, but on affirming that there is "one flock and one shepherd" available on many different paths. This is why, incidentally, I find the Bible to be such an important spiritual tool. It serves as a means of communication by which people on many, apparently different, paths can come to realize the universal spiritual Truth of which we are all unique and wonderful expressions.