* Audio recording unavailable this week due to technical difficulties. *
The Gate and the Good Shepherd
I. The story BEHIND these STATEMENTS. (9:1-41)
A. A MAN born BLIND. (9:1-12)
B. Spiritual LEADERS who can’t SEE. (9:13-41, 10:6,19-21)
Before every chapter 10 there is a chapter 9. Jesus makes his I am statements into a certain context, an important time and place. We saw that last week with I am the light of the world. This week is no different. To understand the importance of a good shepherd you have to see the bad ones too.
1. Kid’s Question: If God sent you a text message, what do you think it would say and why?
2. When have you experienced a situation that you thought you understood at the moment, but later realized you were “blind” to something? How did you realize your blindness?
II. A FLOCK, a GATE, and a SHEPHERD. (10:1-21)
A. Flock: His SHEEP know His VOICE. (10:1-5)
B. Gate: He gives PROTECTION and PROVISION. (10:7-10)
C. Shepherd: “GOOD” is a LIFE and DEATH matter. (10:11-18)
His words break down into three sections, two of which have I am statements. They all rotate around the sheep, a flock that He is calling to follow Him. The passage helps us to understand the interplay between ourselves and Jesus, as He calls us, protects us, and gives His life for us.
3. When have you know that God was asking you to do something or telling you something? How did you know?
4. When has God protected you? When have you thought that He should’ve and didn’t? How does that impact you now?
5. In what ways have you experienced Jesus as a good shepherd? When has that been difficult to believe?
III. Jesus’ WORDS force a RESPONSE. (v.19-21; Heb 3:12-15)
A. It all STARTS with KNOWING. (v.3-4,14; Jn 17:3; Eph. 1:17-18)
B. To HEAR when we can’t SEE. (v.3-5; 2 Cor. 4:18)
C. To FOLLOW where the Shepherd LEADS. (v.3; Mt. 16:24-26)
As always, the Word of God forces our hands. When Jesus speaks a line is drawn in the sand. How will we respond to what He is saying? The crowds were divided. Sometimes we are divided even within our own hearts. Today is the day to think seriously about how we will respond to this call to follow the one who will lay down His life for us all.
6. How would you describe your own relationship with Jesus? Is it “knowing” or “knowing about”?
7. When have you had an experience that you couldn’t see God at work? What was that like?
8. Where specifically might Jesus be calling you to follow this week?