Crossroads: God’s Sheep

John 10:22-30

Your Story

Talk about a time when you felt that God was speaking to you. What was the situation? What was God speaking to you about? Did you follow God’s leading?

My Story and the Bible Story

Last week I got to see some sheep up close and personal, and I learned a few things. Sheep will “baa” at you when they think you’ve got something to eat. It doesn’t matter if they have just eaten; they will still complain. Sheep will follow the voice they recognize. My uncle Keith raises sheep, and right now he has about twenty lambs (baby sheep). One lamb, called Nine, drinks from a bottle. When he hears Uncle Keith’s voice, he comes running. Last week, Nine followed Uncle Keith until he settled in to give him the bottle. It didn’t matter who else was talking to Nine; he followed his shepherd’s voice.

Read John 10:22-30.

The Jews wanted to know for certain if Jesus was the Messiah—the Savior they had been promised for so long. But instead of saying yes and moving on, Jesus reminded them that he had told them who he was over and over again, but they still didn’t believe. He used an example that was familiar to everyone at the time: sheep. The people knew that sheep follow their shepherd. They knew that sheep listen to their shepherd’s voice. And God’s sheep listen to Jesus. Those “sheep” knew that Jesus was the Messiah, and they followed him. It didn’t matter what others were saying about Jesus; these people knew that they belonged to him and that no one could take them away. No one could keep them away from God.

It seems harsh that Jesus told this group of Jews that they weren’t his sheep, but the only way they could be his sheep was to believe in him. It is clear that they didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah. It didn’t matter how many times he told them; they still didn’t believe. When we believe Jesus, we become his sheep. When we choose to follow Jesus, he shows us the way. He speaks to us, and even though we may not hear a voice with our ears, we hear him with our hearts. Like a shepherd, Jesus guides us, and if we listen for his voice, we know where to go.

Thanks be to God that no one can snatch us out of God’s hands. Jesus and the Father (God) are one. Jesus is our shepherd and we are his sheep. If we follow him, we will have eternal life. Listen for the voice of your shepherd. He will tell you what to do. And then follow him. If you follow Jesus, you will have eternal life. How can you be like a sheep today?

Discussion and Prayer

1. Ask your children to talk about times when they felt God speaking to them. Have them describe the situation and share whether or not they did what God told them to do.
2. Talk about ways we can listen for Jesus’ voice (through prayer, reading our Bibles, listening in Sunday school, etc.).
3. How can you help others also become Jesus’ sheep?
4. Pray, thanking God for leading you in the way you should go. Ask for help hearing God’s voice.

Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.

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