Full to Overflowing

Opening Prayer

Jesus, my Good Shepherd, I pray that I will hear Your voice speaking to me today as I seek to follow You.

Read John 10:1–10

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone 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 one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper 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 the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They 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.

Reflect

What is a shepherd like?

Jesus’ address to the Pharisees is extremely pointed (1). He implies that they are the thieves and robbers (1) who come only to steal, kill and destroy (10). He uses the image of the shepherd to address them (2–5), drawing on pictures from the Old Testament (Ezek. 34:1–16).

He contrasts this with what it really means to be the shepherd. What are the characteristics of the shepherd? Notice in verse 4 that the shepherd doesn’t drive the sheep from behind. He leads them from the front, calling them by name so that they follow of their own free will.

The Pharisees don’t understand what Jesus is saying (6), so he puts it slightly differently in verses 7 to 10. He describes himself as “the gate for the sheep” (9). Why do you think the
Pharisees failed to understand what Jesus was saying about them in verses 7 to 10? Think back to what you learned about the Pharisees from chapters 8 and 9.

Jesus says the sheep have not listened to the thieves and robbers (8). Instead, they have come to Jesus as the gate (9). What does Jesus promise the sheep in verses 9 and 10?

Apply

Are you following the Good Shepherd? Commit anew to follow Jesus’ leading and teachings today.

Closing prayer

Speak to Jesus now about areas of your life where you feel you don’t have God’s fullness. Listen to what he has to say to you about it.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider