I am: The Good Shepherd

John 10:11–18

A good shepherd loves his sheep and knows his sheep and cares deeply for them. He’s prepared to make sacrifices to be sure that his sheep are healthy and safe! Jesus described himself as the good shepherd. He knew that we needed our sins to be washed away, so he was prepared to lay down his life for us! 

Key Verse

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.

– John 10:14 (CSB)


Series Memory Verse

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”

– 1 John 3.1a (NLT)


Lesson

Supplies: You could bring things used to look after a pet. eg. Dog bowl, leash, chew toy.

Object Lesson (Would you let it in?)

Welcome the children and say to them that if they have pets, it might help them understand today’s story. If you have your own pet you could use it as an example. Talk about what it takes to keep and look after a pet. If you want to take care of a pet you need to understand what it needs. Does it need regular food and water? Where does it sleep? Does it need to exercise? When we understand our pets and know their needs then we can look after them better. Who knows us better than anyone else? God does! He knows our inner thoughts and he’s with us every moment. He cares deeply for us and loves us for eternity.

Tell the children that today’s Bible story is from the book of John. Jesus is talking about how God looks after us, and how he leads and guides us safely so that we can be with him forever in heaven!

Bible story

Last week Jesus called himself the “door’. Jesus decided to use another example to help the people to understand his love. He compared Himself to a good shepherd and he compared all of his people (that’s us!) to sheep. However, the Pharisees probably still didn’t understand. Let’s read the story together, and find out what Jesus is saying to us.

Tell the story or read John 10:11-15

Application

In the same way that we would look after a pet carefully, a shepherd looks after his sheep. Jesus explained that he’s like a shepherd, but a really good shepherd that would even lay down his life for his sheep.

That means that Jesus loves us so much that he laid down his life for us to take away our sins and make us pure and clean before God so that one day all of us who put our faith in him can go live with him!

It also means that Jesus leads us and guides us just like a shepherd leads and guides his sheep. Jesus has given us his word to feed our souls, so that we can know how he wants us to live and be reminded of how much he loves us! When our souls are hungry, we can turn to God’s living Word to be fed.

For 9-11s you could talk about what it looks like to grow in reading the Bible regularly for themselves. It’s a gift and a joy to have God’s word and we want to instill that sense of excitement in that for them!

Jesus also gave us his Spirit to live inside of us and help us grow from the inside out! We can talk to God at any time that we need comfort and guidance. Remember that John wanted us to know how much God loves us! He said:

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”

– 1 John 3.1a (NLT)

Prayer: Thank Jesus that he is the good shepherd. Thanks him that he loves us, leads us, and feeds us! Pray that the children would turn to him for safety whenever they’re afraid.


Review Questions:

  • Do you have a pet at home?
  • How do you look after it?
  • What does the shepherd do for the sheep?
  • How is Jesus the good shepherd?
  • Jesus loves each of you so much! How can we spend time with Jesus?
  • How do we talk to Jesus?

Activity

I am the Good Shepherd- Balloon Game

Supplies: One balloon per child, Rolled-up newspaper taped to keep it from unraveling, for each child.

Help the kids blow up and tie their balloons. Give each of them a rolled-up newspaper that will be their shepherd’s staff. Make a “pen” using chairs or stools on one end of the room. Line the kids up on the other side of the room. When you say ‘go’, The children will herd their balloon with their roll of newspaper across the floor and try to get it into the pen. You can make it a race, a relay, or time them. Have the volunteers be obstacles the children have to go around.

Jesus said “I am the Good Shepherd.”


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