“What is the most unique door you have ever seen?”
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The “I AM” series is a highlighted look at these unique proclamations by Jesus on who He is. May we grow in our love, knowledge and devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through this series. Week 1 & 2 examined Jesus as “the bread of life” and “the light of the world” respectively. This week we look at Jesus statement, “I am the door of the sheep”. To control entry and protect the sheep, a shepherd would literally sit or lay in the opening of a pen to be the door.
Key Passages: John 10:7,9; Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:23-25; Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18
- Review the primary sermon points to refresh the message (or have a volunteer do this).
- Read John 10:1-10. What are some characteristics of sheep? (foolish, slow, unattractive, demanding, stubborn, strong, straying, unpredictable, copycats, restless, dependent, same everywhere) Who are “the sheep” in v7? (believers)
- Why do sheep need a door? (for protection, safety, etc) What does Jesus mean by calling himself “the door of the sheep”? (He is the one who provides ultimate protection and security)
- How do we have “access” into faith? Read Romans 5:2. (through Jesus)
- Read the following verses about the narrow gate: Matt 7:13-14 and Luke 13:23-25. What are these verses saying to us? (many will perish, only few truly saved) How does this affect/motivate you? (thankful for His grace (if you are in the few) and driven to tell the “many” others the saving good news of Jesus)
- Ask what other personal observations or takeaways your group had from the sermon.
Pray that we would introduce our friends, coworkers, neighbors and family to the One through whom we have access into faith; Pray for laborers…as the harvest is plenty.
SIDE NOTES about SHEEP - 12 Characteristics of Sheep
Throughout Scripture, sinners in general, and God’s people in particular, are described as sheep. Here are some characteristics of sheep and I think you will agree that it is very applicable to us!
1. Sheep are foolish I don’t know what sheep would score in an animal IQ, but I think they would be close to the bottom of the scale. They seem to only know how to do one thing well – eat grass (and produce more grass-eating sheep).
It’s possible to know little, yet not be foolish; but not if you are a sheep. They are so irrational. You watch them as they pause in front of a stream. They know they can’t jump it or swim it. So what do they do? They jump in anyway!
2. Sheep are slow to learn Every shepherd will tell you countless stories about how sheep can be taught a very painful lesson, and yet fail to learn the painful lesson. A sheep may get caught in barbed wire trying to break through a fence. And the next day it will try it again, and again,…
3. Sheep are unattractive Some animals may not be very bright, but make up for it with grace and elegance in their movement and actions. But sheep are so awkward, so lacking in agility and dignity. Although some shepherds may tell you differently, to most outside observers sheep are dirty, smelly, and ugly.
4. Sheep are demanding Ever watch a lamb suckle its mother? Almost as soon as it is born, it is violently sucking its mother’s udders. And that insatiable demand never leaves them. They demand grass, grass, and more grass; day after day, and night after night. (Do they ever sleep?) And when snow is on the ground, they aggressively demand food from the shepherd. Just listen to them bleat if their troughs are empty even for a short time. And watch the life-or-death stampede when the shepherd appears.
5. Sheep are stubborn Have you ever tried to move a sheep? It’s like trying to move an elephant. Ever watched a shepherd try to manoeuvre a sheep into a fold or a dip-tank. It’s like trying to wrestle with a devil. Half a dozen sheep invaded my garden once. I thought it would be easy to hustle them out the wide gate again. But it was as if an electric shield (visible only to sheep) stretched across the gap. I could get them to go anywhere and everywhere, but through that gate.
6. Sheep are strong I’ve watched the most macho of men beaten by sheep. You look at their skinny “arms” and “legs” and think “easy.” Next thing you are flat on your back or face down in the dirt. I’ve been flattened by running sheep. It was like getting run over by a tank.
7. Sheep are straying Perhaps the main reason Scripture chooses sheep to characterize us, more than any other animal, is because of its well-deserved reputation for straying (Isa. 53:6) and getting lost (Lk. 15:3ff). So many times I was out in the middle of nowhere when I would come across a sheep – miles from anyone and anything – and totally unconcerned. I would look up on a cliff and there was a sheep out on a lethal ledge. Other times, when fishing miles from anywhere, I would come across ditches and bogs with the decaying remains of a wandering sheep, and I’d think, “How did that get out here?”
8. Sheep are unpredictable If you travel along the roads of the Scottish Highlands you will soon learn to expect the unexpected. You look ahead on a quiet piece of long straight road with no cars. You spy sheep in the distance on the side of the road. They watch you driving along towards them. Hundreds of yards pass. You are almost level. Well, they aren’t going to cross the road now, are they? Screeeeeech! Well, what do you know!
9. Sheep are copycats OK, bit of a mix of metaphors here, but I think you get my point. When one sheep decides to start running, they all decide to start running. If you were able to ask one, “Why did you start running?” it would say, “Well, because he started running.” The next would say the same. And the next one. And when you got to the last sheep he would just say, “I dunno.”
10. Sheep are restless It always puzzled me how little sheep slept. I would be in my study at midnight, look out, and there they were still eating grass. And no matter what time I arose in the morning – 3am or 5am – they would still be eating grass. Other times, there would be a beautiful summer evening when everything was still and quiet and you would come across a field full of sprinting sheep (usually due to the Scottish midges – look it up on Google). I once heard that for sheep to lie down they need freedom from fear, freedom from friction with others, freedom from hunger, and freedom from pests and parasites. From what I’ve seen, that combination is very rare.
11. Sheep are dependent Some animals can cope and thrive without any close supervision. Not sheep. They are very dependent on their shepherd. They cannot live without him (or her).
12. Sheep are the same everywhere I’ve been in a number of different countries in my life and enjoyed the many cultural differences. But sheep are the one constant – in character if not in looks. The American sheep is the same as the African sheep (see 1-11 above), which is the same as the Asian sheep, which is the same as…
-by David Murray at Head Heart Hand