TOPIC: The “Shepherd” And His “Sheep” (RCCG Sunday School Student Manual 1 October 2023)
MEMORY VERSE: “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” – Psalm 100:3 (KJV)
BIBLE PASSAGE: Psalm 23:1-6 (KJV) (RCCG Sunday School Student Manual 1 October 2023)
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
LESSON INTRODUCTION: Psalm 23 is an expression of our confidence and trust in the lord. Each verse reveals the close relationship David shared with God. Metaphorically, David portrays God as a loving “Shepherd”. This is because being a shepherd himself; he knows what it means to cater for the flocks. The imagery of God as “THE SHEPHERD” is common throughout the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, every believer should understand the place of God in their lives as the “Shepherd,” what it means to be a “sheep” and how to rely solely on God.
THE BELIEVER AS A “SHEEP”
GOD AS “THE SHEPHERD”
1. THE BELIEVER AS A “SHEEP”
The term “sheep” in this context, is used metaphorically for believers (Psalms 100:3). A “Sheep” is someone who obediently follows and relies on the Lord Jesus Christ – “The Shepherd” (John 10:14). A Christian has to subject himself to the leadership of the “Great Shepherd” who surely has his interest at heart (Hebrews 13:20). Like the sheep, a believer needs God for daily provisions – both spiritual and physical (Luke 11:3; Matthew 7:9-11); for protection from predators (John 10:11-12); for direction on the right path (Proverbs 16:9), etc.
Moreover, a believer needs the Shepherd to save him from hirelings – false Prophets, fake pastors, heretical teachers, apostate apostles, greedy evangelists, etc. Where the sheep only see green grass, the Shepherd sees hidden dangers. Hence, without the Shepherd the sheep is in trouble (1 Kings 22:17). Also, a sheep needs the Shepherd when life is hard (Psalms 27:13); in times of anxiety (Matthew 6:25-26); in need of safety (Psalms 125:2); downcast (Psalms 43:5); in need of help (Psalms 121:1-2), etc. Therefore, believers should always call on God as their Shepherd (Romans 10:13).
CLASS ACTIVITY 1: The class should mention other times the sheep may need the shepherd.
2. GOD AS “THE SHEPHERD”
A shepherd is a person who tends herds – someone who feeds and guards herds of sheep. A shepherd’s primary responsibility is the safety and well-being of the flock. Like David, believers in Christ can call God their Shepherd (Psalms 80:1; Isaiah 40:11). Jesus Christ also calls Himself the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:11). In fact, Hebrews 13:20 call Him “the Great Shepherd.”
Our Shepherd performs His all-important role in the following ways:
He leads us out and in so that we find pasture and safety (John 10:9).
He knows how to take care of our needs and in the course of His grace, and providence leads us in the way in which we should go (Psalms 84:11; Isaiah 30:21).
He watches over us and keeps us from being destroyed by ravenous beasts (John 10:10-11).
When we stray, He brings us back (Matthew 12:11).
Just as the shepherd brings the flock to the shade in times of scorching heat, God becomes our refuge in times of persecution and affliction (Psalms 91:4).
CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Students should share with the class, the roles the great shepherd has performed in their lives
CONCLUSION: To enjoy the blessings of the GreatShepherd we must humbly follow as responsive sheep.
What makes the believer a sheep?
In what ways does the Shepherd provide for the sheep?