February 28, 2017

John 10:22-30

22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter,23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 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. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Reflection Questions

John 10:22-24
“The Feast of Dedication, now known as Hanukkah, was established as a memorial to the purification and rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabeus, [who successfully led a revolt against foreign occupying forces and who therefore was regarded as a Messianic figure].”

• Given that this happened during the Feast of Dedication, what might have motivated the Jews to ask the question about Jesus’ identity? Ÿ

• Why would approaching Jesus as a potential political deliverer from the Roman occupiers eventually lead to anger and rejection?

• How does this dynamic play out in people’s approach toward God in our day?

John 10:27-29 Ÿ
• What are the characteristics of Jesus’ sheep? Ÿ

• How do Jesus’ words “no one will snatch them out of my hand” encourage me in my struggles today?

February 27, 2017

John 10:10-21

10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 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. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And 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. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No 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.”

19There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Reflection Questions

John 10:10-15 Ÿ
• “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Who or what might be “thieves” in our day? Ÿ

• Reflect on the words that describe why Jesus came. In what ways does the gospel lead to an “abundant life”?

John 10:10-11, 14-15 Ÿ
• What are the characteristics of a good shepherd vs. a hired hand? Ÿ

• Reflect on the fact that, as the good shepherd, Jesus has ownership over my life. To what extent have I yielded to his claim on my life?

John 10:17-18 Ÿ
• Reflect on vs. 18 and what this means for me personally.

February 24, 2017

John 10:1-10

1 “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. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Reflection Questions

John 10:3-5
• Reflect on the words “the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” To what extent does this characterize my relationship with Jesus?

• Am I heeding other voices that are muffling Jesus’ voice in my life?

John 10:7-10
“The sudden shift of metaphor from shepherd to gate seems rather strange to us, but in reality it is not. When the sheep returned to the fold at night after a day of grazing, the shepherd stood in the doorway of the pen and inspected each one as it entered. … After all the sheep had been counted and brought into the pen, the shepherd lay down across the doorway so that no intruder—man or beast—could enter without his knowledge. The shepherd became the door. The emphatic singular pronoun ‘I’ (ego) emphasizes that the shepherd is the sole determiner of who enters the fold and who is excluded. It parallels the later statement: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6).”

• The thief represented “all who came before” (v. 8) who claimed some authority to guide the sheep. What modern-day sources of authority tell people how to live and where to find pasture? In what ways is it accurate that the end result of such thieves’ voices is to “steal and kill and destroy” people’s lives?

• What would it look like for a Christian to allow Jesus to be the exclusive “door” for his life to keep “thieves and robbers” out?

By smith
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