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Today, we’re talking about the statement where Jesus says, “I AM the good shepherd.” When Jesus said this over two thousand years ago, the crowds of people he was talking to would have really quickly understood what he was trying to say about shepherds, because they were so common back then. This is just like how you know things about INSTAGRAM, even if you don’t have one, because some things are just so much a part of our culture.

So here are a few things they would have known about shepherds:

  • They were protectors – they defended their sheep from predators (lions/bears) and the elements (find safe shelter)
  • They were guides – their job was to lead them in the direction of the best grass and water and to show them the best places to rest
  • They kept sheep from wandering – they used their staff to keep them from going the wrong direction. They would lovingly bring them back to the fold to keep them from harm.
  • They went after their sheep – you might have heard the Bible story of the shepherd who left the 99 in his flock to find the ONE who was lost. That was the heart of the shepherd. Every sheep mattered.
  • They KNEW each sheep’s voice (each bleat and cry). Shepherds could identify and know exactly who was in trouble or what was going on, which sounds crazy to us…

But how cool that THIS is the image Jesus wants us to think of when we think of Him!

Check out Katy Kornegay’s story about what Jesus being the Good Shepherd has meant to her:



“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
John 10:11-16 (NLT)

  1. What does this say about God?
  2. What does this say about me?
  3. How is He nudging me to be obedient to Him as the Good Shepherd?