Learning to recognize the voice of God is critical not only to living a life pleasing to Him, but also to developing a personal relationship with Him. Yet how can we be sure the voice we hear is His? Jesus uses the illustration of the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep to answer that question.
I. THE AUTHENTIC VOICE IS BIBLICAL
- What had just occurred in John 9 that revealed that the shepherds, or religious leaders of Israel, were false?
- From verses 1-5, what are some of the criteria that Jesus gave for determining a false shepherd? A true shepherd? Give a practical application for each criteria.
II. THE AUTHENTIC VOICE IS PERSONAL
- From verses 3-4, on what was the relationship between the shepherd and his sheep based?
- In the parable Jesus gave, who is the shepherd? Who are the sheep? What is the Shepherd’s voice today? How do the sheep hear His voice today?
- Give an example of hearing the Shepherd’s voice from your own life.
- According to verse 5, why do the sheep run from the false shepherd? Give an example from your own life.
- What is absolutely necessary if you and I are to discern between the voices of the true shepherds and the false?
- How does the reaction of the religious leaders in verse 6 reveal their identity as shepherds?
III. THE AUTHENTIC VOICE IS POWERFUL
- What three things is the Good Shepherd able to do that the false shepherd cannot? See verses 7-10.
- How does Jesus’ claim disqualify the pluralism of our day? See verse 7.
- Give phrases from the following verses that confirm the uniqueness of Jesus’ claim: John 1:9; 1:1-3, 14; 1:18; 3:3, 15-18; 14:6; Acts 4:12.
What practical steps will you take to make sure you hear more of His voice in your ear?
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