The Good Shepherd

Thursday: The Good Shepherd
Story Passage: Luke 15:3-7, I Sam 17:32-37
Other Passages: John 10:1-30, Romans 8:28-39
Objective: Jesus is the good shepherd and always looks after his sheep.
Memory Verse: John 10:28, I give them eternal life, and they will never die. No one can snatch them out of my hand.
Introduction: The Sheep Follow the Shepherd
Who remembers what sheep do if you leave them on their own? (They wander off and get lost.) How do you keep sheep from wandering off? Someone has to lead them. What do we call someone who leads sheep? (A shepherd.) The sheep follow their shepherd because they know his voice. He spends a lot of time with them, and he knows them all, and calls them by name, and they recognize his voice and follow him. Now, sheep are dumb, but they're not idiots. Will the sheep follow a stranger? (No.) Why won't they follow a stranger? (They don't recognize his voice.) So, what will the sheep do, if a stranger tries to lead them away? They'll run and scatter, but they won't follow him.
Do you think a stranger would want to take care of the sheep if they wander off? Would a stranger protect the sheep like the shepherd would? (No.) What kind of stranger might come and try to lead the sheep away? (A thief.) But the sheep won't follow a thief - and the thief won't protect the sheep, but the shepherd will. What kinds of things might a shepherd protect sheep from? (Wandering off, wild animals, etc.) Wolves? Lions? Bears?
Story: David, the Lion, and the Bear
In I Samuel 17, David tells Saul about when he was a shepherd, and how he had to protect his sheep from wild animals. David wanted to convince Saul that he would be able to fight Goliath. Saul didn't believe he could do it, so David told him about the time that he fought the lion - a lion came and took one of the sheep and was going to carry it off for lunch, but David went after the lion, and attacked the lion, and rescued the sheep from its mouth. He did the same thing another time, when a bear took a sheep. He rescued the sheep. When the bear turned on David, he grabbed it by its hair, and killed the bear, and rescued the sheep. David was very brave, to fight wild animals for his sheep. Would you fight a lion, or a bear, for a sheep? It's just a sheep, right? One little sheep! Would you fight a bear for one? David did. A good shepherd will do that. A good shepherd will always protect his sheep.
Transition: The Good Shepherd
Jesus is our good shepherd. He is protecting us from Satan, who is like a lion, and wants to devour us — to eat us right up. But Jesus won't let that happen, because he's the good shepherd.
Story: The Ninety-Nine and the One
Jesus told the Pharisees a parable. A parable is a story that teaches us a lesson. [Read Luke 15:3-7 to the children.] Why did the shepherd leave the ninety-nine safe sheep to look for the one lost sheep? Because, the lost sheep couldn't find its way back alone - it was lost! A good shepherd won't allow his sheep to stay lost. He goes and finds them and brings them back. Jesus always takes care of his sheep. [Read John 10:27-29]
Point: Security
If we are Jesus' sheep, if we love him and follow him, can anyone or anything take us away from God? (No.) How do we become one of God's sheep? We have to believe in Jesus, and accept him as our shepherd. Then we follow him. [Invite any children who want to do that to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.]
Invitation: Salvation
Invite any children who want to follow Jesus and be his sheep to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.

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