Connect Group guide: The Good Shepherd
The Good Shepherd
If you missed hearing this talk in person you can listen again here.
The Shepherd is an Old Testament picture for God, who leads us, cares for us, and provides for us. But it is also a common picture of Israel’s rulers, many of whom were bad leaders and failed to care for their sheep (Psalm 23; Isa. 40:11; Jer. 23:1–4; Ezekiel 34; Zech. 11:4–17).
In John 10, Jesus claims to be the Good Shepherd, like Moses and David before him (2 Sam 5:2; Psalm 61:!1; 78:70-72; Isaiah 63:11), and unlike the religious leaders of the day. His goodness is demonstrated by the fact that he will not abandon his sheep in order to save his own life, but will willingly lay down his life to protect us, his precious sheep.
Use some of the following questions to help you discuss the themes from this passage:
- The Bible often depicts us like sheep, and God like our shepherd. In what ways does this metaphor help you to think about our relationship with God? And how have you experienced Him being like a shepherd to you?
- Jesus says he has authority not only to lay down his life, but to take it up again also, referring to his death and resurrection (v17-18). How does know that Jesus has authority even over death itself give you confidence to trust Him?
- What situations are you facing right now, where you need to know Jesus as your shepherd? Where do you need to hear his voice; experience his guidance; know his protection; allow him to feed you, care for you, or heal you; or stand up for you against opposition?
Spend some time praying for one another, perhaps focussing on some of the areas of need you have each shared about. You may want to use Psalm 23 to help you shape your prayers.