Lesson 9: April 30, 2017

God’s Preserving Love: John 10:1-15

Teaching Strategy: Compare and contrast the role of Jesus (the Good Shepherd) with church leaders and other leaders. Discuss how much of what Jesus says refers strictly to himself and his unique role, and what applies by extension to church – or other – human leaders today.

In this week’s scripture lesson, Jesus contrasts the characteristics of the good shepherd, the hired hand, and the thief in their relationships to the sheep. Jesus explains, “I am the Good Shepherd,” and describes how he cares for his sheep. “I know my own, and my own know me, just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” (10:14-15).

Reflect upon the unifying principle (below): What can we learn about the nature of Jesus’ love for us from this passage? About the kind of servant leadership he exemplified? What are the traits of the leader(s) we seek for our churches, our nation, and our world?

What are the costs to ourselves and to the church when we give to human leaders and institutions the love and loyalty which belong to Jesus Christ alone?

  • In a thought-provoking essay Did We Worship Our Way to Trump? Disciples of Christ pastor Craig Watts challenges us to look at the ways we confuse loyalty to America (including American leaders and values) with worship of God – in “direct contradiction to the declaration of Jesus, ‘No one can serve two masters’” (Matthew 6:24).

Spring 2016-17 Theme: Love

Unifying Principle: Everyone is looking for a leader who will solve all the problems of the world. Where can we find the leader we seek? Jesus, as the Good Shepherd, is the leader who shows and imparts God’s love to those who follow.

Posted on: May 1, 2017, by : Sharon Harris-Ewing