Video Host: Kent Sullivan - S. Idaho DYD
Big Scripture: John 10:11–18 (NLT)
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. 17 “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
In this teaching, Jesus calls Himself the “good shepherd.” He uses this title to teach important truths about the nature of God’s relationship with His people. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and those who follow Him are His sheep. We should notice four important truths from this teaching:
1) We belong to Jesus and He takes responsibility for us. In verse 14, He says, “I know my own sheep.” The word “my” indicates ownership. To truly follow Jesus means completely belonging to Him. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but it does mean that we are constantly learning to find our identity in Him and not in anyone or anything else.
2) We should listen to and know His voice. There are many voices in this world trying to shape your understanding of truth. It is wise for you to be in God’s Word and in church to hear biblical teaching so you can recognize the Good Shepherd’s voice.
3) There are “fake shepherds” that Jesus calls hired hands. The hired hand doesn’t truly care about the good of the sheep. This is true of anyone or anything that you might place your trust in over Jesus. It may seem like that person or thing can provide what Jesus provides, but in time you will see that they are not interested in your greatest good. Only the Good Shepherd knows what you need most and He can faithfully provide it.
4) The Good Shepherd sacrifices His life for His sheep. In this Scripture we are reminded of the cross where Jesus laid down His life and was wrongfully executed for crimes He did not commit. He did this in our place to remove the curse of death and to bring us real life.
Have you ever seen or been around sheep? What did you notice about them?
Why is it important for us to listen to and know the voice of the Good Shepherd?
What are some examples of “fake shepherds” that you’ve seen? (Think about things that people trust in and love instead of Jesus.)
If we belong to Jesus, how does that change the way we make decisions?
Thank You that You sent Jesus to be our Good Shepherd. Thank You that He knows us, He provides for us, and He protects us. Help us to stay near to Him and not to wander off chasing after the promise of something better. Thank you that He laid His life down so that we could have real life. Help me to be open to opportunities to tell others about Jesus, my Good Shepherd. In Jesus’ name, Amen.