- Discuss a true disciple as being sheep and the opposite.
- Discuss having or not having a desire to taking care of those in need.
- Discuss ways to feed, clothe and visit.
- Discuss the examples from today’s scripture being both literal and figural.
- Discuss times you have known you should help but did not and how you felt as well as the opposite.
- Discuss that this behavior as shepherds should begin in the church and expand from there.
- What ways could your class react to this as a group which can help all involved to grow as shepherds.
- Discuss how your class could help your church to grow as true shepherds.
Monday, February 9, 2015
On 2-15-15, Matthew 25:31-46 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Serving the Least
Serving the Least
International Sunday School Lesson
February 15, 2015
For years I had a flock of sheep. It started out when I was a boy so I just came into it through assimilation and ended when I was in my 30’s. I miss them. I had pigs too and it wasn’t the same, you know? And I also had goats, and again not the same.
Pigs and goats are smart and I was always confident they could have found a way to survive without me, a great example are the ever expanding feral pigs we have in this country.
Sheep on the other hand need a shepherd. They fall asleep wrong in a corn row and they can’t get up without help. Their wool must be harvested or they suffer terribly from ticks and heat. They are easy prey for predators such as marauding dogs or coyotes. They often need assistance in delivering their lambs.
The list goes on but raising a flock of sheep wasn’t difficult except times when they panicked and leaped and threw their large bodies against you or the night was late or stormy when their needs called or the days of shearing grew long. But somehow the chores were like laying down to sleep and getting back up again. I feel that this is what we should adapt as our attitude towards our role as shepherds of our fellow man.
I think the tendency is to think this role of shepherd belongs to the ones synonymous with this name by their literal meaning in the Bible of elder and pastor. These however are specific to the church and what we are talking about is mankind at large.
In our roles here as shepherds we don’t seem to have the life where it is a part of our being at least not consistently. We don’t seem to do it in that way that is just a part of us like laying down to sleep and getting back up again. We have cycles of enthusiasm where we do pretty good but then it wanes and we neglect the flock. Thank God that Jesus didn’t and doesn’t operate as our shepherd in that way!
Jesus shows us the importance He places on our role as shepherds and I gave one example last week when I quoted Matthew 24’s scripture concerning the servant left in charge of others. The examples left to impress us of this are scattered throughout the Bible and here are several: Luke 6:38, Leviticus 19:9-10, Proverbs 14:21, Isaiah 58:10-11, Luke 3:10-11, 1 John 3:17.
None of those are shepherd verses but rather show the consistency throughout God’s words of who he wants us to be toward each other and being this way makes us an emulator of Christ our shepherd.
But how do you become a shepherd by nature? I think my example from my youth applies where being a shepherd was how I was raised something like Proverbs 22:6 but how about for us as adults?
The answer is found throughout the Bible such as the scriptures given above but it must become a part of who we are each and every day not just once a week as we prepare for class. But you have to want to be a sheep and not a clever goat who thinks they can manage it on their own.
2-22-15 Clothed and Ready Ephesians 6:10-20
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved