A Shepherd and His Sheep

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“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 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. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

John 10:1-11

It’s a simple story with simple characters … a shepherd who loves his sheep and sheep who love and follow their shepherd.

The shepherd knows his sheep. He wants nothing but safety and goodness for his fluffy flock of followers. He talks to them all the time, so that they know His voice. We are sheep. Jesus is our Shepherd. He loves us. He loves us more than we know … He wants us to be safe and show us goodness. “He walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him, because they recognize His voice” (vs. 4).

A wandering sheep in the pasture could hear many things that pull their attention away … a rustle of a tree, another shepherd, a wolf. Each thing could lead the innocent to a place without food or worse … a cliff.

That is not the sheep we desire to be … one that listens to the “baaaaaad” advice. No. Tune your ears and your hearts to the wise whispers of Jesus. “All who came are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them” (vs. 8).

As we follow Jesus, our Shepherd, and listen to His words, He promises us this: “I have come to give you life and give it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep” (vs. 10-11).

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Questions

  • When is it easiest to hear Jesus, the Good Shepherd, speak to you?

 

  • When wandering through life, what things distract you from hearing Jesus? How can you change that?

 

  • What does abundant life look like when Jesus gives it to you?

 

  • God is love. So, of course He loves you like crazy. He shows us His love in some crazy ways. How does laying down His life for you show that He is love?

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