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Notes from Pastor Eilers for Sunday, May 3, 2020

Easter 4, 2020   TEXT NOTES for John 10:1-10

   Every year in the three year lectionary the fourth Sunday of Easter reads from the 10th chapter of John, better known as the Good Shepherd chapter.   This year we read only the first ten verses. 

It may be helpful to know the context of these words, especially since vs 6 says, “…they did not understand what he was saying to them.”   Who is being referred to?  It may also explain the severity of language in distinguishing between a thief and a true shepherd.  See 9:39-41

Thieves and Bandits”

What is the intention of thieves and bandits?

What is the give-away that they are thieves?

What is the reaction of the sheep to them?     

“The Gate”

Even though we seldom give much thought to this metaphor, Jesus uses it of himself twice in this reading.  Another text close to this in thought is when Jesus refers to himself as “the way…” Jn 14:6  Note especially the last half of the verse.

What is the purpose of a gate?

It’s been noted that gates swing two ways, to close and to open.    Thinking of the sheepfold, when is a closed gate a good thing?   When is an open gate a good thing?

Thinking of Jesus as the gate, when do you find comfort that he closes you in?     When do you find joy that he opens for you to go out?

Jesus says that the only legitimate way for someone to approach the flock is through the gate.  How does that help us as a church decide upon the trustworthiness of a pastor or any sort of teacher?

“The Shepherd and the sheep”

Why do the sheep trust the shepherd?

What does this infer about the frequency with which this happens?

How does this factor enable the sheep to decide between a voice they trust and one they run away from?

Once the gate is open, why do the sheep still need a shepherd?

Give a description, in your own way, of the “abundant life” that Jesus promises.

What do you think this text might say to us, who are hearing so many voices during this pandemic, about which voices we will listen to and trust? 

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