Parable of the Good Shephard
“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. So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Jesus says he is the only door to the sheepfold, does this statement make Christianity an exclusionary religion? (v. 1, v. 7)
Who is the shepherd? Is there a difference between the shepherd in v. 2 and the good shepherd in v. 11?
What is the significance of verses 3 and 14?
Who are the thief and robbers and what are they attempting to steal?
What are they attempting to steal?
What does Jesus mean by using the phrase “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly?” (v. 10)
What does the term hired hand mean? (v. 12) What causes them to be a hired hand and not a shepherd?
What other flocks is Jesus talking about in v. 16?
If there is to be only one flock and one shepherd, then why do we have so many different denominations?
What beliefs or practices would indicate a person or a church would be part of the one flock?
What is the importance of v. 17 and 18?
Do you find anything interested about the closing of this passage in v. 19-21?
Take a look at your life and think about the following aspects
-How well do you know the voice of the good shepherd?
-Are you following were he leads?
-Do you flee from strangers?
-Are you living the abundant life Jesus described?
-Is there anything that needs to change to allow you to follow Christ and live the life he desires for you?
Take a few moments to ask God to let you know him more, for Him to give you a hunger and thirst for his presence, to give you the strength and courage to the abundant life to which He has called you and to give you the wisdom to follow Christ in each and every aspect of your daily life.