Discussion Guide: For the Love Week 7

Ice Breaker

One of the things we value within community is fun. In the midst of all the pressures life throws at us, it is our ability to laugh, play and celebrate together that reminds us we serve a good, loving, and resurrected Lord who stands above it all. So, we want to take the first few minutes of our time together to play, have fun, and celebrate the fact that we belong to Jesus.

Today’s Ice Breaker: Botticelli

This is a bit complex so read carefully.

Botticelli is a strategic question game similar to 20 questions, but there is one major difference. One player takes on the role of a famous person who would be reasonably known by those trying to guess the correct answer. In a community group scenario, you will choose one person to be the celebrity and all others will be trying to guess which celebrity that person has chosen.

Once the chooser has chosen a celebrity he/she gives the first letter of that celebrity’s name, or nickname if the celebrity is better known by that (i.e. Prince, Merilyn Monroe). The guessers will then ask a question such as, “are you an actor?” Here’s where the game is different from 20 questions. Rather than answering the question directly, the celebrity can attempt to dodge the question by asking a counter question if he/she thinks he/she knows who the guesser is thinking of. For example, if the chooser has chosen Tom Hanks as the celebrity and has given T as the first letter, and the first question is, “are you an actor?” If the celebrity thinks the guesser is thinking of Tom Cruise then he/she can answer the question, “are you an actor?” with the response of, “No, I am not Tom Cruise.”

If the counter question is correct in the assumption that the guesser was thinking about Tom Cruise then the celebrity does not have to directly answer the question, “are you an actor?” If, however, Tom Cruise was not the correct assumption then the guesser gets to ask another question that must be answered directly. If the guesser, at any point in the game, makes a direct guess as to who the celebrity is and the guess is incorrect then they do not get to ask any more questions. The game goes until the celebrity is guessed or until no one is left to ask questions.

What You Will Need:

  • One person to choose a celebrity name
  • A group of people to ask the questions

Watch this video to see how the game is played.

Today’s Discussion

This week we continue our series that will take us into the Fall titled For the Love. We will be walking through the Gospel of John and seeing God’s love as revealed through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ. We will see that love may not always look and feel the way we think it should, but that if we will allow God’s love to reveal itself to us then our lives will never be the same. 

Discussion Questions

How would you describe the role/job of a shepherd?

Based on what you know about sheep, why do they need a shepherd?

 

Preguntas en Español

¿Cómo describirías el rol / trabajo de un pastor?

Según lo que sabes sobre las ovejas, ¿por qué necesitan un pastor?

Leader Notes

Encyclopedias – International Standard Bible Encyclopedia – Shepherd

The sheep owner frequently tends the flocks himself (Genesis 4:430:40; compare Ezekiel 34:12), but more often he delegates the work to his children (Genesis 29:91 Samuel 16:1917:15) or relatives (Genesis 31:6). In such cases the sheep have good care because the keepers have a personal interest in the well-being of the animals, but when they are attended by a hireling (1 Samuel 17:20) the flocks may be neglected or abused (Isaiah 56:10,11Ezekiel 34:8,10Zechariah 11:15,17John 10:12). The chief care of the shepherd is to see that the sheep find plenty to eat and drink. The flocks are not fed in pens or folds, but, summer and winter, must depend upon foraging for their sustenance (Psalms 23:2). In the winter of 1910-11 an unprecedented storm ravaged Northern Syria. It was accompanied by a snowfall of more than 3 ft., which covered the ground for weeks. During that time, hundreds of thousands of sheep and goats perished, not so much from the cold as from the fact that they could get no food. Goats hunt out the best feeding-grounds, but sheep are more helpless and have to be led to their food (compare Numbers 27:16,17); nor do they possess the instinct of many other animals for finding their way home (compare Ezekiel 34:6-8). Flocks should be watered at least once a day. Where there are springs or streams this is an easy matter. Frequently the nearest water is hours away. One needs to travel in the dry places in Syria or Palestine, and then enter the watered valleys like those in Edom where the flocks are constantly being led for water, to appreciate the Psalmist’s words, “He leadcth me beside still waters.” Sometimes water can be obtained by digging shallow wells (Genesis 26:18-22,25,32). The shepherd frequently carries with him a pail from which the sheep can drink when the water is not accessible to them. On the mountain tops the melting snows supply the needed water. In other districts it is drawn from deep wells (Genesis 29:2John 4:6). The usual time for watering is at noon, at which time the flocks are led to the watering-places (Genesis 29:2,3). After drinking, the animals lie down or huddle together in the shade of a rock while the shepherd sleeps. At the first sound of his call, which is usually a peculiar guttural sound, hard to imitate, the flock follow off to new feeding-grounds. Even should two shepherds call their flocks at the same time and the sheep be intermingled, they never mistake their own master’s voice (John 10:3-5).

The shepherd’s equipment is a simple one. His chief garment is a cloak woven from wool or made from sheepskins. This is sleeveless, and so made that it hangs like a cloak on his shoulders. When he sleeps he curls up under it, head and all. During the summer a lighter, short-sleeved `aba or coat is worn. He carries a staff or club (see STAFF), and a characteristic attitude is to make a rest for his arms by placing his staff on his shoulders against the back of his neck. When an especially productive spot is found, the shepherd may pass the time, while the animals are grazing, by playing on his pipe (Judges 5:16). He sometimes carries a sling (qela`) of goat’s hair (1 Samuel 17:40). His chief belongings are kept in a skin pouch or bag (keli) (1 Samuel 17:40). This bag is usually a whole tawed skin turned wrong side out, with the legs tied up and the neck forming the opening. He is usually aided in the keeping and the defending of the sheep by a dog (Job 30:1). In Syria the Kurdish dogs make the best protectors of the sheep, as, unlike the cowardly city dogs, they are fearless and will drive away the wild beasts. The shepherd is often called upon to aid the dogs in defending the sheep (Genesis 31:391 Samuel 17:34,35Isaiah 31:4Jeremiah 5:6Amos 3:12).

Figurative:

The frequent use of the word “shepherd” to indicate a spiritual overseer is familiar to Bible readers (Psalms 23:180:1Ecclesiastes 12:11Isaiah 40:463:14Jeremiah 31:10Ezekiel 34:2337:24John 21:15-17Ephesians 4:111 Peter 5:1-4). We still use the term “pastor,” literally, “a shepherd.” Leaders in temporal affairs were also called shepherds (Genesis 47:17 margin; Isaiah 44:2863:11). “Sheep without a shepherd” typified individuals or nations who had forgotten Yahweh (Numbers 27:171 Kings 22:172 Chronicles 18:16Ezekiel 34:5,8Zechariah 10:2Matthew 9:36Mark 6:34).

Jesus is spoken of as the good shepherd (John 10:14); chief shepherd (1 Peter 5:4); great shepherd (Hebrews 13:20); the one shepherd (John 10:16). “He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and will gently lead those that have their young” (Isaiah 40:11) is a picture drawn from pastoral life of Yahweh’s care over His children. A strong sympathy for helpless animals, though sometimes misdirected, is a marked characteristic of the people of Bible lands. The birth of offspring in a flock often occurs far off on the mountain side. The shepherd solicitously guards the mother during her helpless moments and picks up the lamb and carries it to the fold. For the few days, until it is able to walk, he may carry it in his arms or in the loose folds of his coat above his girdle.

See also SHEEP.

James A. Patch

John 10:7-15

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep

In what ways has Jesus been a shepherd to you over the course of your life?

In what ways have you been a sheep over the course of your life?

Preguntas en Español

Juan 10:7-15

Entonces Jesús les dijo de nuevo: “En verdad les digo: Yo soy la puerta de las ovejas. 8Todos los que vinieron antes de Mí son ladrones y salteadores, pero las ovejas no les hicieron caso. 9Yo soy la puerta; si alguno entra por Mí, será salvo; y entrará y saldrá y hallará pasto. 10El ladrón sólo viene para robar, matar y destruir. Yo he venido para que tengan vida, y para que la tengan en abundancia.
11″Yo soy el buen pastor; el buen pastor da Su vida por las ovejas. 12Pero el que es un asalariado y no un pastor, que no es el dueño de las ovejas, ve venir al lobo, abandona las ovejas y huye, entonces el lobo las arrebata y las dispersa. 13El asalariado huye porque sólo trabaja por el pago y no le importan las ovejas. 14Yo soy el buen pastor, y conozco Mis ovejas y ellas Me conocen, 15al igual que el Padre Me conoce y Yo conozco al Padre, y doy Mi vida por las ovejas.

¿De qué manera ha sido Jesús un pastor para ti en el curso de tu vida?

¿De qué manera has sido una oveja a lo largo de tu vida?

Timothy Keller, He Welcomes Sinners sermon

“Now when you and I hear that we’re sheep and he is the shepherd it just makes us feel warm, fuzzy, gauzy, and we think of fluffy little lambs and green pastures and still waters and you need to know that when the Bible calls Him the great shepherd and us the sheep it is a very important and very well meant spiritual insult. A sheep is a stupid animal. It loses its direction continually in a way that a cat or dog never does. And even when you find a lost sheep the lost sheep brushes to and fro and will not follow you home. So when you find it you must seize it throw it to the ground, tie its forelegs and hind legs together, throw it over your shoulder and carry it home. That’s the only way to save a lost sheep.”

 

How does being referred to as a sheep confront, or challenge, the way you want people to see or think about you as a person?

Has it ever felt like Jesus was not acting like a Good Shepherd to you?

Preguntas en Español

Timothy Keller, Predicación de Él da la bienvenida a los pecadores

“Ahora, cuando tú y yo escuchamos que somos ovejas y Él es el pastor, solo nos sentimos algo bueno, amable y contento, y pensamos en pequeños corderos suaves y campos verdes y aguas tranquilas, y necesitas saber eso cuando la Biblia Le llama el gran pastor y nosotros las ovejas, es un insulto espiritual muy importante y bien intencionado. Una oveja es un animal estúpido. Pierde su dirección continuamente de una manera que un gato o un perro nunca lo hace. E incluso cuando encuentres una oveja perdida, la oveja perdida se mueve de un lado a otro y no te seguirá a casa. Así que cuando lo encuentres, debes agarrarlo y tirarlo al suelo, atar sus patas delanteras y patas traseras, lanzarlo sobre tu hombro y llevarlo a casa. Esa es la única manera de salvar una oveja perdida “.

¿Cómo se hace referencia a tu como una oveja influye la forma en que usted quiere que la gente lo vea o piense como persona?

¿Alguna vez has sentido que Jesús no estaba actuando como un buen pastor para ti?

1 Peter 2:22-25

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

How does the Gospel help you to trust Jesus has your best in mind when it feels like He is handling you roughly?

Preguntas en Español

1 Pedro 2:22-25

el cual no cometio pecado, ni engaño alguno se hallo en Su boca; 23y quien cuando Lo ultrajaban, no respondía ultrajando. Cuando padecía, no amenazaba, sino que se encomendaba a Aquél que juzga con justicia.
24El mismo llevó (cargó) nuestros pecados en Su cuerpo sobre la cruz, a fin de que muramos al pecado y vivamos a la justicia, porque por Sus heridas fueron ustedes sanados. 25Pues ustedes andaban descarriados como ovejas, pero ahora han vuelto al Pastor y Guardián (Supervisor) de sus almas.

¿Cómo le ayuda el Evangelio a confiar en que Jesús tiene lo mejor en mente cuando siente que Él lo está manejándote áspero?

Leader Notes

A great passage to look to for this answer is Romans 5 which says:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Paul is pleading his case to a group of Christians who have been facing persecution, who have started to question if God is really good; if He is really for them. And the case Paul makes here is this…don’t forget that Jesus has gone before you to take on your sin, to die, and to bring forgiveness. When you were at your worst and deserving of God’s wrath and judgment He, instead, sent His own sun to justify you, to bring peace between you and God and to bring you into the grace of God. Which means we have a guarantee that any pain we experience is not punitive. Meaning, if God has already punished Jesus in our place then it would be unjust for Him to punish us again. This can only mean that any pain we go through is formative and not punitive. It is meant to lead us to God’s purposes.

As one last reminder, Paul comes back again in verse 8 by saying, “For God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

So, when we look at the Gospel we have the promise of God’s unconditional love combined with His unmatched sovereignty and power. Looking to that Truth we can look at those moments where it feels God is being cruel and instead understand He’s just throwing us over His shoulders to bring us back home.

NOTAS EN ESPAÑOL

Un gran pasaje para buscar esta respuesta es Romanos 5 que dice:

Por tanto, habiendo sido justificados por la fe, tenemos paz para con Dios por medio de nuestro Señor Jesucristo, 2por medio de quien también hemos obtenido entrada por la fe a esta gracia en la cual estamos firmes, y nos gloriamos en la esperanza de la gloria de Dios.
3Y no sólo esto, sino que también nos gloriamos en las tribulaciones, sabiendo que la tribulación produce paciencia (perseverancia); 4y la paciencia (perseverancia), carácter probado; y el carácter probado, esperanza. 5Y la esperanza no desilusiona, porque el amor de Dios ha sido derramado en nuestros corazones por medio del Espíritu Santo que nos fue dado.

Pablo está suplicando su caso a un grupo de cristianos que han estado enfrentando persecución, que han comenzado a cuestionar si Dios es realmente bueno; Si Él es realmente para ellos. Y el caso que Pablo presenta aquí es este … no olvides que Jesús se ha ido antes que tú para encargarte de tu pecado, para morir y para traer perdón. Cuando estaba en su peor momento y merecía la ira y el juicio de Dios, Él, en cambio, envió su propio hijo para justificarlo, para traer paz entre usted y Dios y para llevarlo a la gracia de Dios. Lo que significa que tenemos una garantía de que cualquier dolor que experimentemos no es punitivo. Es decir, si Dios ya ha castigado a Jesús en nuestro lugar, entonces sería injusto que Él nos castigue nuevamente. Esto solo puede significar que cualquier dolor que atravesemos sea formativo y no punitivo. Está destinado a llevarnos a los propósitos de Dios.

Como un último recordatorio, Pablo regresa de nuevo en el versículo 8 diciendo: “8Pero Dios muestra su amor por nosotros en que, cuando aún éramos pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros.”

Entonces, cuando miramos el Evangelio, tenemos la promesa del amor incondicional de Dios combinado con su soberanía y poder sin igual. Mirando esa Verdad, podemos ver esos momentos en los que se siente que Dios está siendo cruel y, en cambio, entender que nos está echando sobre sus hombros para llevarnos de regreso a casa.

Closing Thought

Morgan Stephens, I Lay Down My Life Sermon

“We follow Jesus alone, but we never follow Jesus alone.”

Why is following the Shepherd alongside other sheep difficult at times?

What does it take for us to follow Jesus together? 

Preguntas en Español

Pensamiento Final

Morgan Stephens, La predicacion de “Pongo mi vida”.

“Seguimos a Jesús solo, pero nunca seguimos a Jesús solo”.

¿Por qué es difícil seguir al Pastor junto a otras ovejas a veces?

¿Qué se necesita para seguir a Jesús juntos?



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