Scripture: John 10:1-18
- Students will learn how shepherds took amazing care of their sheep.
- Students will learn Jesus is like our shepherd and we are like his sheep.
- Students will learn this means Jesus loves us very much and was willing to die on the cross for our sins so we can go to Heaven.
- Students will learn Jesus helps us guard our hearts from sin.
- Students will participate in an activity to better understand the types of things Jesus helps protect us from, if we will let him.
Guiding Question: If we are like sheep and Jesus is our shepherd, from what types of things can he help protect us?
Materials: four or five pennies for every student, art paper, and markers
Procedure: Read or tell students about the shepherd, sheep, gate and Jesus found in the verses above. Give each student four or five pennies. Tell them sheep are kind of like pennies. They often look very much alike if you don’t pay really close attention.
Have students place their pennies back into a pile and then mix them up. Ask students to pull out the exact same pennies you gave them. After they struggle for a minute, explain that is an example of poor shepherding.
Give each student four or five pennies again. Tell them this time; you want them to get to know their “sheep” pennies very well. You want them to look at each one carefully so they can tell which ones are theirs when you mix them up again.
Once again mix up all of the pennies and allow students to try and find their pennies. If they struggle a bit still, that’s fine. Point out that flocks of sheep were often rather large. Ask them how much time it might take the shepherd to really know his sheep that well.
Talk about how the shepherd’s life might be in danger when he was protecting his sheep from thieves or wild animals like wolves, lions and bears. Ask them how much a shepherd would need to love his sheep to be willing to guard his animals with his very life.
Explain that Jesus wanted us to understand he loves us even more than a shepherd loves his sheep. He wants us to know we are like his sheep and he wants to protect us if we will let him. Ask students to name some things from which Jesus can help protect us.
Give students paper and markers. Encourage them to draw a sheep pen, Jesus and sheep. Outside of the sheep pen, they can draw wild animals or thieves that are named from some of the things Jesus wants to protect us from. Older students may want to add a Bible verse from the lesson.