Sunday School Material 5-13-12: The Good Shepherd

(John 10:7-18; 5/13/12)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Jesus is the gate and good shepherd of His people. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like those who have entered the gate and are His sheep.

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Read John 10:7-10
I. Not a Thief.
In this section of the Sunday School material Jesus talks about being the gate. Those who came before Him were simply thieves and robbers. Only those who come through Him will be saved. There is life and life to the full in Jesus.

Applications –
- The gate.
Notice in vss. 7-10 that Jesus is the gate. He is the only way into right relationship with the Father. As much as we may want to “just get along with everyone,” especially in these times of so much fighting, we should remember this text.

Interfaith cooperation may be helpful in doing community work, but when it comes down to doctrine and spiritual matters, the Bible is authoritative truth. As such, we only have one gate to the Father, and that is through Jesus.

Let’s behave like we believe Jesus is the only gate to the Father. Such behaving should include urging our loved ones to get saved – accept Jesus as their savior by faith – while they still have time.

- Thieves and robbers. Notice in vss. 8, 10 of the Sunday School material that those other than Jesus are detrimental to those who follow them. The things of this world lead to our demise.

No matter how much temporary pleasure they may provide, no matter how popular they may be, and no matter how reasonable they may sound, at the end of the day, they lead to death.

Let’s make sure we stay with Jesus and not the things of this world. Our behavior will say more about how we internalize this application than our mouths.

Read John 10:11-14
II. Not a Hireling.
Jesus talks about being the good shepherd. He is not a hireling who runs at the site of wolves. There is a close relationship between the Good Shepherd and His sheep.

Applications –
- The good shepherd.
Notice in vs. 11 of the Sunday School material that Jesus is the good shepherd. As a good shepherd, Jesus protects and provides for His sheep.

In regards to protection, there are so many things that the devil has been trying to do to us that Jesus has protected us from. And those negative things that have happened to us have all been a part of God’s working things out for our good.

In regards to providing for us, God has provided for our ability to work and provided resources for those who are unemployed. Every believer has reason to shout about the shepherd-ship of Jesus.

Now, you all know that “shepherd-ship” is one of those Baines terms that that Pastor is known for coming up with from time to time – smile). Let’s live like we appreciate Jesus being our good shepherd. Such living should include obedience and enthusiastic worship.

- The good shepherd’s sheep. Notice in vs. 14 of the Sunday School material that the sign of being one of Jesus’ sheep is that He knows us and we know Him.

Everybody who comes to church and who strives to live by the 10 commandments are not saved. Let’s make sure we are God’s sheep.

That is, let’s make sure that we have asked and are trusting God to save us from going to Hell because Jesus paid for the penalty of our sins on Calvary. We further our knowledge of the Lord by prayerfully studying and striving to obey His word.

Read John 10:15-18
III. Not a Coward.
Jesus talks about being in good relationship with the Father in this section of the Sunday School material. He talks about other sheep to be added to His fold. He talks about how He lays His life down and takes it up again, as commanded by the Father.

Applications –
- Jesus’ other sheep.
Notice in vs. 16 of the Sunday School material that Jesus has some other sheep. On one hand, we should be careful about thinking that the whole world revolves around us and our experiences and circumstances.

God is bigger than the African American urban Baptist experience. God loves the world. On the other hand, just as we are governed by God’s word, Jesus’ other sheep are governed by His word as well.

Thus, it is so important for all of God’s sheep to prayerfully study God’s word. The word is central, not our cultural experiences or preferences. Let’s stay in the word, so we can be open to unity with all of God’s sheep.

- Jesus’ lordship. Notice in vs. 18 of the Sunday School material that even in death, Jesus is Lord. Jesus was not simply killed; He laid down His life. And thanks be unto God, He raised it up again. He did all of this in compliance with His Father’s commands.

The resurrection of Jesus should give us confidence in the promises of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus should give us confidence in knowing that death is not the end of believers.

Let’s live like we believe that Jesus is Lord. This kind of living should include obeying the Lord’s instructions to love God with all that we have and to love our neighbors, as we love ourselves.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living like those who have entered the gate and are His sheep. God has much for those who obey His will.

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