Dr. E. Dale Locke and Rev. Trevor Johnston
Series: Bless this Mess
Week 8 – The Shepherd
- Share your social media life – what types of social media do you participate in? How often are you on social media? What reasons do you have for using and participating in social media? If you are not involved in social media, give your reasons.
- Recite together Ephesians 5:15-16 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Share your thoughts on this verse, now that you have spent the past several weeks learning about it and memorizing it.
- Read John 10:1-21 – “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. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So, when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
The Jews who heard these words were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Talk about what you notice about this scripture, especially in regards to the following 4 components: The Sheep, the Thief, the Gate and the Shepherd.
- Do you believe that everybody listens to somebody, and we follow who we listen to?
- Share your thoughts on the quote from Charles “Tremendous” Jones that was mentioned in the sermon: “You will be the same person in five yearsas you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
- Who do you admire? Who do you watch, listen to, or ‘follow’? What is it about that person, group or organization that draws you to ‘follow’ them?
- Re-read John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy
Who do you think the thief represents?
- Do you think the thief can always be easily recognized? Why or why not?
- S. Lewis’ book “The Screwtape Letters” is ‘a classic masterpiece of religious satire that entertains readers with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to “Our Father Below.” (Publisher’s description). In this book, C. S. Lewis one observation he makes is that the greatest trick the devil can play is in convincing the world that he doesn’t exist. Why do you think C.S. Lewis thinks that? Do you agree or disagree?
- Re-read John 10:7-10 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.
- What do you think Jesus means when he refers to himself as the gate? Read the following scripture to help you in your discussion:
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- Andy Stanley, founder of North Point Ministries, a worldwide Christian organization, says “Following Jesus makes my life better and me better at life.”
Explain what you think Andy means by that. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
The Good Shepherd
- Re-read John 10:11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Consider the implications that Jesus laid down his life for YOU. How has that awareness impacted how you live?
- Re-read John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—
What are some ways to know your good shepherd’s voice?
- Pray for each member of your group to become acutely aware of the voice of the Good Shepherd, and to be able to tune out the influences of the thief in the week ahead.07-28-2019 – The Shepherd.docx