I AM: Discussion Guide
In Person Series
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
If your phone started buzzing in your pocket, or pocketbook, right now and the ID read “Unknown
Caller,” but you answered it anyway (I get it, why would you answer an “unknown caller” but play
along), whose are the voices that you would recognize within just a few words? A parent? A child? A
sibling? A friend? Who do you know by their voice without even having to see their face or hear their
It is important to remember that John did not include chapter markers when he wrote this Gospel. So
while “chapter 10” seems to begin a new thought it is not at all unrelated to what has been happening in
chapter 9. In fact, John 10:21 offers a clue that what John records in John 10 is somehow related to what
has just happened with the healing of a blind man. And chapter 9 highlights an ongoing debate about
the identity of Jesus. He is a sabbath breaker. But he healed a man born blind. He is a sinner. But he
healed a man born blind. He is a blasphemer. But he healed a man born blind. So can Jesus be trusted
or should he be dismissed as irrelevant or even disposed of as dangerous? Jesus responds by sharing a
parable about sheep. With that as background, read John 10:1-5. According to the parable what are
some of the characteristics of a person who can be trusted?
In 10:7 Jesus begins to explain the parable and applies it to himself. What does Jesus mean when he
claims ”I am the gate?” How might John 10:4 relate to what is written in Ezekiel 34:1-16? (Ezekiel 34 is
one of the central texts of the Festival of Dedication that is referenced in John 10:22)
How might 10:9 relate to another of the “I am” statements that John records later in 14:6?
How does John 10:11-13 fill out the picture of a leader (voice) that can be trusted?
What about John 10:14-15? Jesus has already shared that the sheep know the shepherd but why is it
significant also that the shepherd knows the sheep? (In 10:3 he calls his own sheep by name.) Why
does that matter?
In our own day, do you find it difficult to discern what voices to listen to and to trust? Why? What
makes it difficult?
How does John 10 provide a filter to discern and pick out a voice that can be trusted among so many
other voices that are untrustworthy? What might that look like in the context of your every day? How
might we go about tuning out the noise so that we can hear the one true voice of the shepherd?
John 10:1-18 provides many opportunities to thank our gate and our shepherd, not least of which is that
he knows you…by name. you are not a number or a customer or a subscriber to him.
Thank him together in prayer.