We read in Matthew 9:36-38 that as Jesus went about teaching, healing, and proclaiming the gospel, he looked on the people he met with compassion. "They were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" we read.
How can we, individually and as a group, grow in both our own experience of Jesus' compassion towards us, and in seeing others at UTS in the same way that Jesus does?
Share how Jesus has 'looked on you' with compassion, and come up with ways your group can foster this way of seeing others. Spend some time praying for God's mercy upon UTS.
1 "Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, "Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
What words would you use to describe the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep?
What do you think Jesus means when he says, "I am the gate for the sheep"? What is it like for those who enter through the gate?
How is the 'good shepherd' different from the 'hired hand'?
How can we know and recognise the voice of the good shepherd today?
How does the way the good shepherd and his sheep know each other, reflect the way the Father and the Son know each other? (v.14-18)