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An Invitation to Discipleship | If Anyone Enters by Me...
April 3, 2022
1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
This week, as we continue our series exploring what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, we look at John 10 where Jesus says “I am the door, if anyone enters by me he will be saved…”. Jesus uses this image of a door and a shepherd to offer an invitation to true transformation and hope. In this passage, Jesus says he comes so that we might have life and have it abundantly. Let’s explore just who Jesus is, what he offers, and how we receive it.
To discover and experience Jesus Christ in our midst
To cultivate mutually encouraging relationships
To participate in God’s mission to the world
Almighty God, as we gather together may we rest in your Spirit, and may we remember that you alone renew our lives. Help us shake off all that weighs down, that we may be free to hold fast to you, the One who fills our lives with unmerited grace and abounding love. In the name of Christ, your Son, we pray. Amen.
Responsive Prayer—Psalm 126:1-6
1When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
2Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
3The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.
4Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb!
5Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
6He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
1. Who Jesus Is
In this passage, Jesus offers a number of suggestive metaphors that reveal just who he is. Jesus says he is a door, and more specifically a door to a sheep pen. In the first century, sheep pens were protected so that thieves or predators could not get to the sheep. The only way in the sheep pen was through the door. So Jesus’ claim that he is the door is a claim that he not only protects but also through him is the way to a whole new dimension of life.
- What are some ways that Jesus is the door to a new dimension of life? (For example: how does prayer open up to us a new way of living and being with God?)
- In this passage, Jesus talks a lot about robbers and thieves. What are modern day thieves and robbers that keep us from experiencing the life Jesus offers?
2. What Jesus Offers
The heart of this passage is found in v.7-10. Here, Jesus offers abundant life to all who trust in him. And he makes the astonishing claim that this life, life in fullness, cannot be found anywhere else. Jesus turns to the image of a shepherd with his sheep to give some detail as to just what this abundant life ought to look like. Jesus promises that if we listen to his voice he will lead us in for security and safety and out for freedom and mission.
- Picking up this theme of listening to our shepherd's voice, how are some ways we can tune our ears to listen to the voice of Jesus? How might we tune out some of the competing voices that are so prevalent in our world that often prevents us from listening to Jesus?
- How can this Community Group help one another tune in to Jesus and tune out other voices?
- How have you found that Jesus, the good shepherd, has led you 'in' to security and safety and 'out' for mission and freedom?
3. How We Receive It
How do we receive this full abundant life that Jesus came to give? V.9 tells us that the only way we receive it is through Jesus. “If anyone enters by me, he will be saved.” In this passage, the metaphor of the door gives way to the good shepherd. We see that Jesus is unlike any other teacher or leader. Jesus lays down his life for his sheep. Rather than sacrificing the sheep to save himself, he sacrifices himself to save us. The beauty of all of this is that we receive this abundant life not by our works or our merit, but by the grace of the good shepherd.
- The notion of only one way to God or even to abundant life can be off putting to modern people. But how does Jesus’ grace allow anyone to enter this one door? Why is this so important?
- Sheep are weak, prone to many predators, prone to wander off, and not the smartest of animals...Jesus calls us sheep. How does this help us understand ourselves and the grace and power of Jesus, as our shepherd?
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Go in hope and peace.
View Study Guide Notes
Question 1: If you recall from Jason’s sermon, the image of a door is meant to be an evocative image that still holds power for us today. Whether the wardrobe into Narnia, Harry Potter’s platform 9¾, doors are invitations into a new world. Jesus here is offering us an invitation to come to him and find a world beyond what we can taste, see, and touch to find new life in him. Christian prayer, worship, community, and service are all ways in which we proclaim the reality of this new world that Jesus has begun in his resurrection.
Question 2: In this part of the study, you might discuss Jason’s sermon illustration of the mother and son who went to retrieve their husband/father’s sheep after he had died. The son played a small instrument and the sheep began to follow them. Also here’s a cool youtube video of sheep hearing and responding to their shepherd’s voice.
As disciples, we are called to hear and respond to the voice of Jesus above all the other voices and noise in our world and in our own heads. I’d encourage you to explore with your group how we can do that in our lives and how you might do that together.
Question 3: N/A