Fed by the Word
Click below to view and download some guidelines for small groups and the Gospel text for Sunday 3rd may.
Sunday, 3rd May
Our scripture is one of the ‘I am’ discourses from John’s gospel, in which Jesus reveals himself as God. He opens with a familiar illustration, knowing that everyone listening would have some understanding.
A shepherd would herd his sheep into a low walled enclosure of piled rocks with a small opening. At night, since there was no gate, the shepherd would lie across the opening to keep the sheep in and the wild animals out – he would literally become the door.
Jesus is warning us of false shepherds, saying he alone is the Gate which gives access to the Father and to the abundant life He promises, if we follow Him.
Gospel – John 10:1-10
‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’
Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them. So Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I tell you most solemnly,
I am the gate of the sheepfold.
All others who have come are thieves and brigands;
but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through me will be safe:
he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.’
1 Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.
5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
7 So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.
10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Questions for the group to share on:
What does this passage tell you about God?
What does it tell you about you?
What is God asking of you? Is He calling you to act?