“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. 3 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.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 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. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing 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. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Personal Reflection and Discussion
Jesus was gathering his flock. He continues to gather his flock today.
- This passage contains two (v. 7 & v. 11) of Jesus’ seven “I AM” statements in John’s Gospel (See also 6:35; 8:12; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1 – Ex 3:14). Which of these two “I AM” statements is most meaningful for you? Why?
- Why do/would sheep recognize the shepherd’s voice?
- There are a lot of voices espousing a lot of differing worldviews, ideologies, values, and beliefs. How can we learn to recognize our Shepherd’s voice? (See Jn 17:15-18; Col 3:15)
- What thieves are roaming among us?
- What is the full life Jesus seeks to give?
- Jesus laid down His life for us. What are we instructed to do (See 1 Jn 3:16)?
- How willing are you to lay down your life, even when it is costly? …costing you in time (Lk 9:57-62? …costing you in possessions (Mk 10:21)? …costing you relationships (Lk 12:52-53)? …costing you health (2 Cor 11:23-27? …costing your life (Acts 12:2; Ro 12:1; 1 Jn 3:16)?
Dear Jesus, you willingly laid down your life for me at the expense of your life. You are my Good Shepherd and you know all of me. Thank you for loving me in an extraordinary way.
Greek Word of the Day
English Word: figure of speech | Transliterated Word: Paroimia (par-oy-mee-ah)
An adage, specially an enigmatical or fictitious illustration, proverb, speech
Family Engagement Activity
Print out pictures of sheep. Label one sheep “The Lost Sheep.” Hide all the sheep in your home, making sure the Lost Sheep is hidden in a difficult location. Tell your children: “We are going to be shepherds and find the sheep.” Send your children out to look for the sheep. Give clues along the way to find the Lost Sheep. You may want to say “you are getting hot” or “you are getting cold.” When all the sheep are found, rejoice together. Ask the question: “Do you know we are like sheep?” Then say “Jesus is our shepherd and he rejoices that all his sheep are with him. He rejoices even more when someone who doesn’t know him comes to believe in him as their Savior.”
Going Activities To Consider
Thank God for being your shepherd. Take time to think about the characteristics of a sheep that we as sinful humans often embody. Now, think of the relative strength, mindfulness, and care a shepherd has. Thank some of the people God has used to keep you in the flock today.
Shepherds try to keep sheep in flocks, managing several at a time. Who is in your flock? Encourage and allow those in your flock to know how blessed you are that God continually grants you the opportunity to meet with these people on a daily basis. Need a flock? Consider a small group today! Talk to your Small Group Director at Church about getting you in a small group.