[The following scripture passages and questions are here to guide you in your thinking. The questions are not answered. If you are truly seeking, you will sense God guiding you. You will see and understand those things which are most needful for you. And, most importantly, you will know that God cares for you.]
Read John 10
John chapter ten continues the narrative about the Pharisees’ opposition to Jesus Christ. The Pharisees appointed themselves as the judges of the Jews, determining who was worthy to be considered a good Jew. They erected a barrier of traditions, nit picking rules which had nothing to do with the Law and righteousness. They considered their traditions to have the same authority as the Law. In their minds, they were the gate keepers of the way to God, and shepherds of God’s people.
John 10:1-2 ESV “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. (2) But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.”
Sheep were kept in a safe, walled in place, with a guard at the gate. All flocks were put into the sheepfold. If a shepherd wanted to go into the sheepfold, he had to be recognized by the gatekeeper and enter by the gate.
John 10:7-10 ESV So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. (8) All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. (9) I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. (10) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Question: Jesus uses a figure of speech when he calls himself “the door.” What does he mean?
Question: What does Jesus consider the Pharisees to be?
Question: What does a thief and robber intend to do with the sheep?
Question: The Pharisees rejected Jesus as the door to relationship with God. They fed upon those who sought to have a relationship with God, using them to achieve their ambitions and lifestyles. What did Jesus intend for the sheep?
The Good Shepherd
John 10:3-5 ESV To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (4) When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (5) A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
When the true shepherd came for his flock, he entered through the sheepfold door opened by the gatekeeper. Then he called his sheep by name. When they heard his voice they ran to him and followed him. A good shepherd did not drive his sheep. He led them. The Pharisees did not lead, but drove the “sheep” of Israel by intimidation, social pressure, and punishment.
Question: True or False: The shepherd and the sheep had a relationship.
Question: Describe how the sheep felt about their shepherd? Describe how the shepherd felt about his sheep? What does it signify that the shepherd named his sheep and knew them individually?
Question: What kind of relationship do you have with Jesus?
John 10:11 ESV I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep….(14) I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, (15) just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. (16) And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Question: What proof is there that Jesus is the good shepherd? [Choose the correct answers]:
- Jesus lays down his life for the sheep.
- His sheep know him and answer his call.
- Jesus leads and does not drive his flock.
- The Heavenly Father recognizes Jesus as the Good Shepherd.
Question: Does the sacrificial love of Jesus apply only to the people of Israel?
Question: How many flocks does the Good Shepherd have?
Question: How many Shepherds are there?
In today’s world, there are many religious leaders who burden their congregations with man-made traditions and rules. These leaders lord over the people, insisting on observance of their traditions and obedience to their rules as a means of salvation, retention of salvation, and sanctification. Exalting themselves, these false shepherds come between the people and the Good Shepherd. The result is tired, discouraged, and overburdened congregations. Church-going people living in guilt, doubt, and anxiety. This should not be! People who attend church should not hurt like they do. What can be done? Jesus gives the answer:
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
John 10:27-28 ESV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Question: Is Jesus your shepherd? If not, and you desire to be one of his sheep, please pray to him confessing that you are a sinner and asking him to come into your life as your savior and lord.
If you made such a prayer, or if you need more information, use the contact form [ Contact Bruce ] to let me know and communicate any questions or concerns you may have. God bless you.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.