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The text for this lesson is John 10:1–18

Key Point

  • We are like sheep who have gone astray. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who rescues, gathers, and cares for us through His Word and Sacraments.
  • Law: Because of sin, I face physical and spiritual danger in this world.
  • Gospel: Jesus, my Good Shepherd, guards and protects me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, feeding me through His Word and Sacraments to keep my faith strong.

Discussion Points

  1. Many Christian artists depict Jesus as the Good Shepherd who tends His sheep or carries His little lamb to safety. Why do such pictures give great comfort, even if we know very little about how shepherds tend their flocks?
  2. When Jesus calls Himself “the good shepherd” (John 10:11), He draws from a very rich theme in the Old Testament. Look up the following Old Testament passages: 2 Samuel 5:1–3; Psalm 23; Isaiah 40:10–11; and Ezekiel 34:11–16. What details about a “shepherd” for Israel can you find in these passages? How do these details and passages find their fulfillment in Jesus, the Good Shepherd?
  3. Read John 10:1–6. How does Jesus introduce the shepherd theme in verse 1? How do the sheep know who the true shepherd is (vv. 2–4)? How can the sheep detect someone who is not the shepherd?
  4. Read John 10:7–10. What illustration does Jesus use this time, and how does He apply it to Himself? Who are the “thieves and robbers” to whom Jesus refers? See John 9:40–41.
  5. In John 10:10, what does Jesus mean by “life” and having it “abundantly”? See John 5:24–29; 6:53–58; and 11:25–26.
  6. Read John 10:11–15. According to verse 11, what makes Jesus the “good shepherd”? Also see John 15:13 and 1 John 4:9–10. How does this differ from the hired hand (vv. 12–13)? In verses 14–15, how does Jesus show His great care for His sheep? See also Genesis 4:1.
  7. Read John 10:16–18. To whom does Jesus refer when He says, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold”? See Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 3:11. What unites these different sheep into one flock? See also John 10:27–28 and Romans 10:17. What does Jesus say about His impending death on the cross?
  8. What does knowing sheep can’t see well so must rely on their hearing say about being sheep of Good Shepherd Jesus?

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