Sometimes we think God has a personality disorder. The God revealed in Jesus is so forgiving and nice, but in the Old Testament, God seems harsh and judgmental. Which is the right picture? The answer requires us to rethink God. Pastor Luke preaches from John 10: 1–18 in “Rethink God,” the first message in a new series “Rethink.”
Talk It Over
OPEN. 1. What are some jobs where someone acts as a “go-between” for two other parties? Pick one or two jobs and describe a good candidate.
UNPACK. Read John 10: 11-18
2. What do you know about parables? Would you say this is a parable? Why, or why not?
3. According to Jesus’ description, what are some characteristics of a Good Shepherd?
4. When Jesus described himself as the good shepherd, what did he mean? Who are the sheep? Who is the wolf? Who is a hired hand? Is there a bad shepherd? Would your answers be any different if Jesus said this today?
5. Jesus knows his flock, and they know him, just like he knows the Father, and as the Father knows him (v. 14). If Jesus knows you like he knows the Father, what, does he know about you? What do you know about the Father, if you know Jesus?
6. Read what Jesus says in verse 17. Does he mean that by his obedience to God’s will he has earned God’s love? Why do you think so, or why not? (Consider John 5:20; 14:31; 15:9.)
7. What is commandment did Jesus receive from the Father? (v. 18)
APPLY. 8. How would you describe the “flock” you know best? What is a flock that is part of another sheepfold? When has the flock you know acted (consciously or unconsciously) as if it were Jesus’ only flock?
9. Who are some of God’s “sheep” that God has placed into your care, for you to act as a shepherd over? How should you treat them?