Pastor Greg continues his series called “Hello My Name Is Jesus.” This is week six and Pastor G teaches more deeply about what Jesus meant when He introduced Himself as “I Am The Good Shepherd.”
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” ~ Matthew 9:35-38
Splagchnizomai (GREEK) ~ Compassion (ENGLISH)
Poimén (GREEK) ~ Shepherd (ENGLISH)
Orpheus loved Jesus with all his heart. To serve Jesus, then, to have been entrusted with these people of Jesus, was purely a gift from the dear Lord Jesus which kept perpetually the face of Jesus before him and for which he could not find words enough to cry his thanks. Orpheus was a pastor. He could not think of a better, more honorable thing to be.
~ Walter Wangerin ~ The Orphean Passages: The Drama of Faith ~
THREE REASONS I AM OKAY WITH GOD CALLING ME A SHEEP
1) SHEEP ARE LOYAL TO THE FLOCK AND TO THE SHEPHERD
2) SHEEP NEED PROTECTION FROM ENEMIES
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8
3) SHEEP SOMETIMES WANDER OFF OR ARE LED ASTRAY
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. ~ John 10:1-6
So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. ~ John 10:7
All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. ~ John 10:8-9
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. ~ John 10:10
“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 is not the owner of 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 is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” ~ John 10:11-18
Kalos (GREEK) ~ Good (ENGLISH)
noble, wholesome, beautiful and good.
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” I and the Father are one. ~ John 10:25-30
ALOHA GROUP QUESTIONS
READ: Matthew 9:35-38 and Mark 12:32-42
1) What does it mean to you to hear that people were distressed and dispirited? As you look around you in the world today do you see anyone you would describe this way? Explain?
2) When you see distressed and dispirited people, how do you feel and what do you do as a result of those emotions? What was Jesus doing when He encountered people like this?
3) What does it mean to you when Jesus describes such people as “sheep without a shepherd?” Have you ever felt like a sheep without a shepherd? While all Christians are not called to the “office” of pastor/shepherd of a congregation, do you believe all Christians are called to be shepherds when it comes to ministering to distressed and dispirited people we encounter? Why or why not?
4) Do you think pastors/shepherds ever become distressed or dispirited? Why or why not? When you read the Gospels did Jesus ever appeared distress or dispirited? At what times? Was there more than one time Jesus was feeling this way? What did He do when He did?
READ: 1 Peter 5:8
1) How does it make you feel to read this passage? What can you do about it?
READ: John 10:1-10
1) Pastor Greg mentioned he will be teaching more deeply on this passage about Jesus being “the door” later in this series but just take a few moments now to read it and see what you think Jesus is saying. How would you put this into your own words and explain it to a friend who had never read the Bible before and had no knowledge about who Jesus is?
2) What do you think Jesus means when He says “all who came before me are thieves and robbers?” When Jesus says “if anyone enters through Me” what does He mean? What or where are we “entering?” How do we enter “through Him?” What does He mean we will “find pasture?” What kind of pasture and why does it matter? Why is it something we would want to find?
3) Who do you think “the thief” is that Jesus is referring to? What does “abundant life” mean to you and how
do you know if you are truly and fully experiencing it?
READ: John 10:11-18
1) Pastor Greg pointed out that there was a difference between being A Good Shepherd and The Good Shepherd. What is that difference to you? How have you experienced Jesus as The Good Shepherd in your own life?
2) Jesus points out the difference in commitment levels between hired hands and owners. Have you ever found that to be true in your life? Can you share an example with your group?
3) What does it mean to you when Jesus said “I lay down my life for My sheep?”
4) To whom do you think Jesus was referring when He said “I have sheep in other pastures that you do not know about?”
READ: John 10:25-33
(Takes place in the Temple during Hanukkah.)
1) Jesus says His sheep KNOW HIS VOICE? Do you feel like you know Jesus’ voice? Why or why not? What are some of the things Jesus says to you when He speaks to you?
2) What can you do to help you recognize His voice more easily and more clearly in your own life? What can you do to help other people learn to recognized Jesus’ voice?
3) What does Jesus mean when He says no one can snatch us out of His hand? What does He mean when He says no one can snatch us out of His Father’s hand? Why does He say both of these things back to back?
4) What does He mean by “I and the Father are one?” What did they mean to Jesus’ audience of Jewish men while they were standing in the Temple ?
3) How would you explain Jesus’ meaning to your non-believing friend who had never heard anything like this before?