Read Ezekiel 34 and John 9:39-10:21
1) This portion of scripture is a continuation of the conversation begun with the Pharisees in John 9:39 (see John 10:21).
2) What relationship do you see between judgment, blindness and sight, and the story of shepherds and sheep that Jesus now tells?
3) List the characteristics of the shepherds of Israel in Ezekiel 34:1-8. Compare with the thieves, robbers and hirelings spoken of by Jesus in John 10:1-13. What parallels do you note?
4) What has just occurred in John 9 that revealed the character of the shepherds, or religious leaders, of Israel? Assess their behavior in light of Ezekiel 34.
5) How was God going to resolve the problem of these shepherds who had no regard for His sheep? (Ez. 34:9-16, 23-24)
6) List the qualities of the shepherd that God would establish from Ezekiel 34:9-16, 23-24 and compare with Jesus’ statements about himself in John 10:1-18.
7) How are these same qualities (positive and negative) evidenced in church leadership today?
8 ) In the parable Jesus gives in John 10:1-5, who is the shepherd? Who are the sheep? What is the sheepfold?
9) What function does a porter (doorkeeper) fulfill (v.3)? What does this figure represent? (See also Acts 16:14, 2 Cor 2:12, 1 Cor 16:9, Rev 3:8 )
10) Shepherds and sheep are familiar Old Testament themes. (Psalm 23,100:3) In Numbers 27:15-23 one of Moses’ last Acts was to ask the Lord to appoint a man over the congregation of Israel so they would not be as sheep without a shepherd. In Mark 6:34 Jesus saw the people as shepherdless sheep. Why do sheep need a shepherd?
11) From veses 3-4, on what was the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep based?
12) According to verse 5, why do the sheep run from the false shepherd?
13) Those who heard this parable did not understand (v.6). Why?
14) In what two ways does Jesus identify himself in John 10:7-15?
15) How is Jesus both “the door of the sheep” and the shepherd?
16) If those who enter the sheepfold through Jesus are saved, why do they then go in and out? (Compare with Psalm 23.)
17) Jesus states in verse 10 that he has come to provide life abundantly. What is this life contrasted to? Based on this passage of scripture, what do you think it means for Jesus to give life abundantly?
18) When danger to the flock appears, the hireling will flee. What does the good shepherd do? What is the basis of these different responses to danger to the flock? (John 10:11-15)
19) Here Jesus states he has power to lay his life down and take it up again. Elsewhere we are told that is God who raised Jesus from the dead (see Acts 2.24; 1 Corinthians 15.15; Ephesians 2.6 for just a few examples). How would you explain this to someone unfamiliar with the concept of the Trinity?
20) Describe the response of the Pharisees to Jesus’ words? What is the source of division among them?
21) Summarize the events that have taken place surrounding the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:1-10:21). What stands out to you?by beakennedy and comments are closed.