Reflection Questions – Introduction to the ‘Good Shepherd’ Sermons: The Sheep’s Confession (John 10:1-6, Psalm 23)

Reflection Questions - Introduction to the 'Good Shepherd' Sermons: The Sheep's Confession (John 10:1-6, Psalm 23)

John 10:1-6: “[Jesus said,] “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. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.”

  1. In this first part of John 10, we’re brought into an early morning shepherding scene – the Shepherd meeting with the sheep He loves at the break of the new day. How does the Lord meet you in the morning? Share your experiences and help others (see Psalm 5:3, 68:19 [NKJV] & 143:8). In 10:1-2, the True Shepherd alone has a right to enter the sheep pen. But that doesn’t stop some from trying! Anyone who’d climb ‘over the wall’ would mean no good! What are some ways these ‘robbers’ try to take us captive or ‘steal’ our attention early?
  2. Then in John 10:3b, Jesus says, when the True Shepherd enters the pen, “The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” Whoa! There’s so much happening here. Now think devotionally, yes – but think theologically too. This is SO DEEP! Consider and discuss: Why do His sheep hear His voice? How do they know His specific voice? What comes to mind when you read, “He CALLS them BY NAME” (Luke 19:5b)? Why are they called “His own” sheep (Psalm 100:3)? How does He ‘lead them out’ (remember the context: ‘morning shepherding scene’)?
  3. In John 10:4 (good buddy), why do the sheep follow Him (look at the verse)? Note the emphasis on ‘following’ (John 1:43, 8:12, 12:26, 21:19, 22; Luke 5:27-28). Apply this imagery to your own walk of faith. Consider this verse (“goes before them”) in the context of Luke 14:27-28 and our recent teaching about the ‘follower’ not getting to choose the road. What does the Shepherd mean by ‘counting the cost’?
  4. In John 10:5, Jesus said, “A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Why not? What does Jesus mean by this and how does it apply to us as His flock? Read John 10:6. Why didn’t they understand? (See John 5:25, 8:47; Revelation 2:7, 13:9.)
  5. I made the case that Psalm 23 is the sheep’s ‘confession,’ not everyone’s. Do you agree? Why is it helpful to see it this way?
  6. I argued that EVERYTHING depends upon the Shepherd: the calling of the sheep (by name), the rescuing of the sheep, the leading of the sheep, the protecting of the sheep, the feeding of the sheep – EVERYTHING (Luke 12:7). What do you think?
  7. Discuss the saying: ‘We are sheep, but we’re HIS sheep! We are His sheep, but we’re SHEEP!’
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