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Lesson 5: Jesus Is the Good Shepherd

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In our lessons, we have painted the portrait of Jesus with ways He described Himself to those listening to Him. Remember these truths about who Jesus Christ is and what He does for you.

  • Jesus is the “I Am.” He is the answer to the spiritual needs of every person.
  • Jesus is the Bread of Life. His abundant love satisfies our hunger for a relationship with God.
  • Jesus is the Light of the World. His light directs us to follow Him.
  • Jesus is the Gate for the Sheep. There is safety in following Jesus and doing life His way.

In this lesson, we will paint Jesus as the good shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me.” (John 10:11, 14 NET)

Paint Color #5: Green

Our color for this lesson is green. We’re going to learn about Jesus as a shepherd again. It makes sense to choose green to represent all the good grass the shepherd provides for the sheep to eat. But, green is also associated with peacefulness and rest. Jesus told His followers, “Come to me and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-29).” So, green will represent relationship. We can enjoy a relationship with Jesus as our shepherd. We can know and belong to Him as His sheep. This satisfies our need for a relationship with our God.

In the last lesson, we learned that Jesus told His followers that He was a gate of protection for His sheep. Let’s find out more about Jesus as a shepherd.

1. Read John 10:11-15.

  • What does Jesus call himself in verses 11 and 14?
  • Do you think every sheep wanted a good shepherd?
  • Jesus described Himself as the good shepherd who does what for the sheep?
  • What could it mean for a shepherd to give his life for his sheep?

Jesus was talking to His followers who knew that their greatest enemy was being separated from God because of sin in their lives.

Jesus gave His life for us, His sheep, when He took the punishment for sin by dying on the cross. He did this so that anyone who trusts in Him will have all of their sins forgiven, will receive eternal life, and will never be separated from God again.

But, that’s not the only way Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Look at what else He says. “I know my sheep, and my sheep know me.” That’s all about relationship. Jesus wants us to enjoy a personal relationship with Him.

Shepherds of Jesus’ time were devoted to their sheep. They talked to them and even sang to them. The shepherd cared so much for every sheep in his flock that he gave a special name to each one.

So, if you were a sheep in the sheep pen, not only would you hear the sound of the shepherd’s voice, you would also hear him calling your name. Remember the last lesson?

2. Read John 10:3-4. The shepherd calls out to the sheep. What is the responsibility of the sheep?

The shepherd calls those sheep who belong to Him. Jesus knows every one of us who have believed in Him and trusted in Him to take away our sins. He knows each one of His followers by name. We each have a personal relationship with Jesus, our shepherd.

Not only do we have a relationship with Jesus, it’s a forever relationship. One we can never lose. He will never turn His back on His sheep. We belong to Him, and He belongs to us. Read with me what He says about our security with Him

3. Read John 10:27-30.

  • What does Jesus give His followers?
  • When Jesus says, “they will never die,” does Jesus mean your body will not grow old and die?
  • If you are Jesus’ sheep, who can steal you out of His hand?
  • So, does that mean you will always belong to Him?
  • Can there be a time in the future when you don’t belong to Him?

Remember that we said in the last lesson that you don’t have to wait until you die to get eternal life. Eternal life begins the moment you trust in Jesus to take away your sins. There isn’t anything that can make you not belong to Jesus any more. You are in a forever relationship with Him as His sheep. That is great news, isn’t it?

When Jesus talks about His father, He is talking about God. The Bible teaches that there is one God who exists in three persons. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. When Jesus says, “My Father,” He’s talking about God the Father. Jesus is His Son, so Jesus is God the Son.

4. Reread John 10:27-30.

  • According to Jesus’ words, who is greater than anyone?
  • Can someone take you out of God the Father’s hands?
  • Is anyone stronger or more powerful than God?
  • Are you more powerful than God?

8. So, once you trust in Jesus to take away your sin and become one of Jesus’ followers, one of Jesus’ sheep, is there anything you can do to make yourself not belong to God any longer?

Remember this. It’s not the sheep that are holding onto the shepherd. If you have ever seen a sheep, you know they are not very strong creatures, are they? It is the power of the shepherd holding onto the sheep.

Jesus knows that His followers are not as strong as He is. You belong to Jesus forever because of His powerful grip holding onto you.

9. Does knowing that truth make you feel safe?

10. Read Romans 8:38-39. What additional confirmation about God’s hold onto you do you get from these verses?

The Bible teaches that nothing that happens during your lifetime, nothing that happens after you die, nothing that you do right now, and nothing that you do in the future can separate you from Jesus.

11. If you are already one of Jesus’ sheep, you are in a forever relationship with Him. God continually loves you until the day your body dies, and then God continually loves you afterwards as you live in heaven with Him.

  • So, if a family member says to you, “You are not perfect. I saw you do something wrong. Surely God doesn’t love you anymore.” How do you answer that?
  • If you trusted Christ to take away your sin last year, and someone says to you, “Well, you’ve done some bad things since then. You do not belong to Jesus anymore.” How do you answer that?
  • If you dream about something evil taking you away from Jesus, of what should you remind yourself when you awake?

Jesus is the good shepherd. We can enjoy a forever relationship with Him. Once you trust in Christ to take away your sins and give you eternal life, you belong to Jesus forever. Forever never ends. And, Jesus wants you to enjoy your forever relationship with Him.

12. If you have put your faith in Christ and trusted Him with your life, are you confident now that you are Jesus’ sheep forever?

I hope you are confident. Jesus knows you by name. He calls to you, not so that you hear it in your ears but so that you hear it in your heart. He speaks to you as you read the Bible. The words in the Bible are His words to you. The sheep hear the Good Shepherd’s voice and know it is true. Our hearts tell us to listen to Jesus and follow Him because He can be trusted.

13. Is this your response to Jesus as your shepherd? Do you want this to be your response?

Following Jesus

1) Bible verse to learn:

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me.” (John 10:11, 14 NET)

2) Response in prayer & praise:

Ask Jesus to help you listen for His voice with your heart and follow Him as your shepherd by reading His words in the Bible and obeying Him as Jesus obeyed His Father.

3) Filling in the portrait of Jesus:

Christianity is Christ so spend a few minutes each day reading the verses and reflecting on Jesus—His life, His relationships, and His teaching. Get to know Him well—this One who loves you dearly.

  • Read John 9:1-12. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read John 9:13-41. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read John 10:1-21. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read John 10:22-42. Reflect on what you read.

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