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The Good Shepherd

Jesus told a story about a good shepherd.

Jesus said:

"There was a good shepherd who loved his sheep and watched them and took good care of them. When it was time for the sheep to come into the barn, he would call them. 'Come in, come in!' The sheep knew his voice and would come when he called."

"There was also a bad sheep-watcher who would ignore the sheep. If a wolf came along, the sheep-watcher would run away from the wolf and forget about the sheep."

The people listening nodded thoughtfully. Many of them took care of sheep, and they knew what it was like.

Jesus continued, saying, "But the good shepherd would lay down his life for his sheep."

After Jesus told the story, people started asking him who he was. "Jesus! You tell us stories. You heal people. You do miracles. Who exactly are you? Are you the savior that God promised?"

Jesus answered: "I am doing the work of God, My Father."

"Just like the shepherd loves the sheep, I love you. And just like a shepherd, God, my Father, loves you. I and My Father are One."

Discussion: (1.) Jesus told simple stories, like this story about a good shepherd. Have you heard other children's stories about sheep and wolves and shepherds? (2.) The people in this story were trying to figure out who Jesus is. For many years, people believed that someday God would send someone special, a Messiah, to the world. When they listened to Jesus, they started to see that he might be that someone special. Whenever Jesus told a story, there was something special about the story. It might seem like a quick children's story about sheep and wolves, but it also was a story about something more.

Craft: Choose a quote from this story and put it on a poster board. Use cardstock paper, cotton, fabric or construction paper to add figures of people and animals in a circle around the words. Include favorite animals - sheep, donkeys, cats, dogs, turtles, etc.

February 2014