1. Read John 10:1-10: In ancient Israel a shepherd would keep his sheep overnight in a pen surrounded by a wall. This was not only to keep the sheep in but to keep dangers out. Where there was no watchman or physical gate, the shepherd would himself sleep across the entrance and be the gate for the sheep. What does this say about the character of Jesus that he would use this image to describe himself? What does it say about who he is for your life?
2. Jesus warns about “thieves and robbers”. Who is he referring to? Do you think there are the equivalents of thieves and robbers trying to “steal the sheep” in today’s world? If so, who are they? Why do you feel that way? Read Acts 20:28-31 where Paul uses similar images.
3. Re-Read John 10:10: What do you think Jesus meant by “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”? How do we experience this abundant life ourselves? In what ways is Jesus the gate into life in all its fullness?
Read all of John 9: How does this chapter build into the “I Am the Gate” statement? How does Chapter 9 shed light on how Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” (our topic next week), while the Pharisees are false shepherds to their people?