Unit 23, Session 5: The Good Shepherd

Bible Story

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Unit 23, Session 5: The Good Shepherd

Jesus’ teaching caused division among the Jews. They argued about who He was and where He had come from. Had He really come from God? Was He crazy or demon-possessed? In John 10, Jesus taught about Himself by using a comparison that is found throughout the Old Testament: the Lord as the Shepherd of His people.

In Bible times, shepherding was a common occupation. Leaders of nations—even non-Israelite nations—would refer to themselves as shepherds of the people. A good shepherd would guide, provide for, and protect his people. Yet Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel criticized Israel’s leaders for failing to shepherd God’s people well. The Israelites were like sheep—helpless and wandering—and they longed for a truly good shepherd.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who provides abundant life for His sheep. A shepherd would gather his sheep at night and form a pen to keep the sheep in and to keep wild animals and thieves out. The shepherd would lay across the opening. Like a shepherd provides safety for his sheep, Jesus provides salvation and eternal life.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. A shepherd protects his sheep from wolves and other wild animals, even at risk to his own life. Jesus gave up His life on the cross to rescue sinners from sin and death.

Finally, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep. Even when two or more flocks gathered in a pen, a shepherd could call for his sheep and they would respond to the sound of his voice. Jesus knows His sheep personally.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, came to do His Father’s plan: to die on the cross and rise again so that we might be saved. We can live sacrificially as we point others to the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd. God sent Him to rescue sinners. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep so they could have forgiveness and eternal life. When we trust in Jesus, we are His sheep who listen to, follow, and obey Him.


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The Good Shepherd
(John 10)

 

Jesus is the Good Shepherd. God sent Him to rescue sinners. Jesus laid down His life for His sheep so they could have forgiveness and eternal life. When we trust in Jesus, we are His sheep who listen to, follow, and obey Him.


STORY POINT:

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KEY VERSE:

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BIG PICTURE
QUESTION:

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Family Discussion Questions

  • What did Jesus do protect His “sheep”?
  • How will Jesus’ “sheep” behave?
  • How can we become part of Jesus’ flock?
  • In  what ways are people like sheep?
  • Do you go your own way or follow Jesus? Why?
  • How have you seen or experienced Jesus’ care for your family?

Worship

Game Ideas

Sheep Skin
 

-Provide each kid with a paper plate.
 
-Invite the kids to draw a sheep’s face on the plate.
 
-Provide cotton balls and glue for the kids to attach “wool” to their sheep face.
 
-Help the kids cut eye holes in the plate.
 
-Use tape to attach string to the masks so the kids can wear them.
 
-You may encourage the kids to wear their masks during the Bible story.
 
 

                                                                     CONNECTION:

Jesus taught that His people are like sheep, and He is like a shepherd. Today, we will learn more about what that means. What do you think makes a shepherd good?

Sing "Through the Gate"
 

-Sing the following lyrics to the tune of “London Bridge Is Falling Down” :

“Jesus says He’s like a gate, like a gate, like a gate!
Jesus says He’s like a gate for His sheep.

“Come and enter through the gate, through the gate,
through the gate!
Come and enter through the gate to be saved.

“The thief comes in to steal and destroy, steal and
destroy, steal and destroy.
The thief comes in to steal and destroy God’s precious
sheep! [Leaders drop arms around a child.]

“Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, the
Good Shepherd.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who saves His sheep!”
[release the child.]

 
 
CONNECTION:
 
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. God sent Him to save sinners. Jesus gave up His life so His people could be forgiven and have life with God forever. Those who trust in Jesus are His sheep. They listen to Him, follow Him, and obey Him.

Serving
Jesus

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for His people. Because we are called to be like Jesus, we too need to care for others.

Talk amongst your family and come up with a practical way you can care for someone just as Jesus cares for His people. (Examples: pull some money together and give it to a family who may be struggling financially, bring groceries to someone who may not be able to go to the store right now, etc.)