Go

Cypress Church

The Good Shepherd - Who Owns You?

Portraits of Jesus:  The Good Shepherd

 

Who Owns You?

 

Scripture Verses:  John 10:1-18

 1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.  7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  14"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to 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 authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

The following sermon notes are in a format designed for a small group Bible study.  For more studies like this visit the Cypress Church Web Site:

Sermon Series  Bible/Small Group StudyPortraits of Jesus: The good shepherd Who Owns You?John 10:1-18             “Have any of you ever been lead wrong by Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, someone else giving you directions, or one of those GPS navigation gizmos? My GPS deal has lead me down some dead end streets and taken me the long way around. A navigation tool does make life a lot easier. like the idea of “Life-Nav” because that’s what Jesus was getting at as He portrayed Himself as the Good Shepherd. Back when Jesus first described Himself as the “Good Shepherd,” an immediate image came to mind of a strong caring leader. Like the ancient stories of the shepherd-turned-King David who protected his father’s sheep from the lion and bear, they saw a loving person: leading sheep to lush grazing pastures, sacrificing for the good of the sheep, keeping a watchful eye on the sheep – ready and willing to protect, and knowing each sheep individually and may even giving them names like much loved pets… That’s the image that would have filled their minds. For they knew sheep and knew they were much like sheep. Even God had called them sheep in the Scriptures in Numbers 27:17, Psalm 78:52, and Isaiah 53:6. Though they my not like it or even buck against it…we, like sheep, need a Shepherd. In John 10:1-18 Jesus proclaims this position and shows us how to best respond,” Pastor Mike McKay. Fellowship  (15+ minutes)            Fellowship is enjoying each other’s company as close friends or family. Take some time to get to know each other better and have fun. Use one of these ideas of one of your own.            A. Share a snack and take turns sharing, “When I think of a good leader, I think of …”            B. Share how you were blessed (made happy or joyful) by God this past week.            C. Plan a special time of fun together as a group in the next 2-3 weeks. Brainstorm about fun things to do. Then, ask a few members of the group to plan your “group date”. We chose to….  Worship Mini (5minutes)            Worship is connecting with God and can take many forms. Invite Jesus Christ to join in your group. Try one of these ideas, or one of your own!                A. Sing a few songs that focus on Jesus Christ as a leader or shepherd. Sing them as an invitation for Jesus Christ to join your group.              B. Allow each person to pray 1 simple sentence showing love or gratitude to God as a leader. Close with one person asking Jesus Christ to join you in your time together.  We chose to…     Growth (30-45 minutes)            Growth is studying the Bible to learn what God wants us to know about Himself and ourselves and to apply this information in practical ways to our lives. Please take turns reading the Bible verses out loud and answering the questions as a group. Some find it helpful to take time completing the study and questions beforehand. Then, you can spend more time discussing your answers and finding applications for your lives. In this study, we’ll focus on 4 traits and 4 responses of Jesus as The Good Shepherd.
John 10:1-18  "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.  2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.  3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."  6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.  7 Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--  15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep.  16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.  17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-- only to take it up again.  18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
 I. Jesus The Good Shepherd LEADS 
John 10:3   3 The watchman opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.1 Peter 2:21   21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
 1. What is the difference between being lead and being driven? Which tends to operate more in your life – following or being driven?   


 

Hebrews 4:15   15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-- yet was without sin.Hebrews 13:8,9  8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes from God’s special favor, not from ceremonial rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. 2. Why is Jesus a better leader than following a trend, philosophy or “new” teaching according to the verses above?      Challenge: Read Matthew chapter 23 this week. Why is it that you and I end up being hypocrites just like the Pharisees (religious leaders in Jesus’ days)?  What is the source of this “leading” problem?   
James 1:14  14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.Isaiah 53:6  6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…
 3. What are the pitfalls of being our own leader?              “The natural tendency of our skin is to move towards evil desires. We have to be taught, modeled, and lead into that which is right. We tend to want to sin: to lie, to cheat, to steal, to be unkind, to give into lusts, to get greedy… We are naturally stingy. It’s easy to be prideful, to be arrogant, and to make sure the world to revolve around us. It’s not the way we were designed. Sure, it feels natural, but it’s not what’s best,” Pastor Mike McKay. 
Matthew 9:36  36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.Psalm 23:1-6  The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,  3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 
 4.  What characteristics in the above passages make Jesus the ideal leader for you to follow? Why?   3 Ways Jesus Leads. 
John 10:1-2  "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.  2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.Jeremiah 29: 11 11I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
 A. In T__________ (HURTH) and Honesty5. What are Jesus’ motives for His relationship with us?  How is this different from our relationships with other people?   
John 10:9   9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.Romans 6:6  6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--
 B. In Providing F____________ (FEDERMO)6.  What would true freedom from sin (bad habits, impure thoughts, unkind words…) look like in your workplace, family, or your own life?  
John 10:10   10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
 C. In an A_____________ (ADNBUTAN) Life7. What is the difference between living a “full life” and living an easy, rich or famous life?   II. Respond to the Good Shepherd - LISTEN  
John 10:3-5   3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
             In order to really understand what Jesus is saying we need to understand sheep. “Sheep are stupid. If one jumps off a cliff, others will follow. They don’t instinctively know how to survive and can’t find food or water. Sheep are high maintenance. Horns grow in, hair needs trimming around the eyes, and bugs can crawl in their ears and burrow into their head. They need to be cared for in birthing and shaved at least every year or hair weighs them down. In addition, sheep tend to wander. They mindlessly wander off, falling into pits, into ravines, into water, and into trouble. Also, sheep do not instinctively know how to defend themselves. If a predator comes in they just keep on eating…and will even walk right up to it. Yet, sheep are useful as wool and a food source…Sheep can discern. They notice and respond to familiar voices and commands. Sheep are happiest when under a shepherd. When connected and in relationship with a shepherd, sheep produce the best wool and meat…no stress!” Pastor Mike McKay. A. Accept We Are Sheep1. Which of the ways above can you accept that you are a “sheep”?     2. Which “sheepish” ways make you mad or uncomfortable or distressed?      3. The discomfort may be caused by listening to the wrong person. How does our society encourage you to not be a “sheep”?    Challenge: Read Genesis 3 and Job 1-3 to get a better understanding of influences that barrage us.What influences are mentioned? Which are the most troublesome areas in your life?   B. Choose to Follow
John 10:27   27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
  If I asked your family or a close friend, who would they say you are following in life: yourself, some other leader, or Jesus? Why?   If you aren’t sure or don’t like the answer, you can easily make a change in your life. The “Worship” section at the end of this study will lead you through the steps. C. Tune into the Holy Spirit
1 John 4:1  Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
 1. How do you know if you are listening to Jesus’ voice, your own thoughts or maybe even from the enemy?   
John 16:7,8,13,14  7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8“When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin. 13But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. 14He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you.
 2. What is the job of the Holy Spirit? How can this help you in knowing who and what to pay attention to?   III. Jesus – The Good Shepherd PROTECTS 
 John 10:12-13   12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
 1. How would the shepherd, the person who owns the sheep, act when trouble comes?   
1 Peter 5:8  8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.2 Corinthians 4:8-9  8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
 2. What kinds of trouble do we experience and what is one source of this trouble?
1 Peter 5:9-10  9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
 3. How are we to resist evil as seen in the following Bible passages? (Verses included at end of study) Ephesians 6: 10-18 Matthew 17:21 Luke 4:1-12 4. Which of these areas do you feel needs more work on?   5. What changes will you make in your life today in order become stronger in this area?   IV. Jesus – The Good Shepherd KNOWS Us 
John 10:14-16   14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--  15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
 1. How well does God say He knows you and every other person on this planet?   2. How are we to treat Believers that worship in ways different from your own? Why?  Challenge: Read Psalm 139 this week to see how intimately God knows you and loves you.   
Psalm 46:10  10 "Be still, and know that I am God…
 3. How are you doing at getting to know God?   4. What ways can we get to know Jesus better? V. Jesus – The Good Shepherd SACRIFICES             “Jesus knew of our sinful, misguided ways and that we, like wondering sheep, would end in tragedy…no fulfillment, no heaven, no real joy… Yet to get us out of this predicament, Jesus willing sacrificed Himself, paid the debt we owed, and set us free… at personal cost,” Pastor Mike McKay. 
Romans 5:8,9 8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment.
 1. Would you agree that everybody on this earth, except for Jesus, has done something selfish or hurtful - sinful?  2. Would you agree that a perfect God has every reason not allow us into His holy presence in Heaven?  3. Would you agree that God can decide the necessary steps to take care of this sin problem – including requiring a sacrifice of Himself for us?   
John 10:11   11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.John 10:17-18   17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-- only to take it up again.  18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
             The Good News is that Jesus Christ willingly paid the price, the debt for our sin. “The sacrifice is of no value to us until we respond…” Pastor Mike McKay. Application            Look over your answers again from each section of Growth with a partner or 2 (usually guys with guys and gals with gals).  1. Do you see a pattern or an area of your life that needs some work?  2. What will you do this week to make changes to work on this area?  3. Encourage and pray for your partner(s) during the week. Next time you get together, share how God has helped you to grow. My partner(s) ……….                             Area of growth…..                      They will do….    Worship (15+ minutes)            God is in our midst – we invited Him! We wants to help us to follow Him. We can talk to God anytime, anyplace…this is called prayer. 1.       Steps to becoming a Christian – a follower of Jesus Christ. (Also a good idea for renewing your relationship.) A. Tell Jesus that you agree that you are a sinner (have done things that are selfish, hurtful, etc)  B.  Thank Jesus for dying on a cross as the sacrifice for your sin.   C. Ask Jesus to become the Savior of your life (saving you from your sin for a great relationship instead) and LORD (the leader of your life).  Congratulations! You are now a new person – a Christian and a family member of God’s family. Please let your group leader or pastor know of your decision. We want to help you in your first steps as a new believer.  2.Group prayer We can all pray to Jesus as a group. If you have never done this before, keep to simple 1- sentence prayers such as….”Jesus help me to read the Bible every day”. Here’s a simple template that can help. Dear Heavenly Father –We adore You and praise You for….  Thank You for …..    Help me with…..(area you mentioned in application)  Help us with these needs in our group….    Help other people we know with…..   In Jesus Christ name we pray, Amen (so let it be).  Bible Verses for this Study Ephesians 6:10-18 10A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. 16In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. 17Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere. Matthew 17:21 Jesus told them. “I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Luke 4:1-12 1Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit to go out into the wilderness, 2where the Devil tempted him for forty days. He ate nothing all that time and was very hungry. 3Then the Devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread.” 4But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life.’” 5Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6The Devil told him, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them—because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me.” 8Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’” 9Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10For the Scriptures say, ‘He orders his angels to protect and guard you. 11    And they will hold you with their handsto keep you from striking your foot on a stone.’” 12Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’” 13When the Devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.   

Read More