by Roger Howard

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Easter 4B Gospel.

Text: John 10:11-18 for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Lectionary Series B


Participants will:

  1. Compare and contrast the role of shepherd with various authority figures.
  2. Explore Jesus’ image of shepherd and sheep as a picture of the relationship between Himself and His followers.
  3. Identify how that relationship affects their own lives as Christian (sheepish) disciples.


Large groups of twenty or more count off by letters in the word “bleat” repeated as many times as necessary; all b’s are group one, all l’s are group two, etc. For smaller groups, count off by letters, but groups are formed by each word (ex. “bleat” would be one group, “sheep” would be a second group, etc.). In your small groups, the leader is the person with a birthday closest to today. The leader is responsible for keeping the group moving through the study and making sure everyone has the chance to share and that no one person dominates. Students may pass if they choose but are encouraged to share in order to help everybody benefit from this study.


Share with the group a time when either a) you were lost and couldn’t find or way to your destination, or b) you were able to give directions or show the way to someone else who was lost. How did either experience make you feel?


  1. Identify an authority figure (other than a parent) with whom you’ve had recent contact (ex. coach, teacher, police officer, band director, etc.) and answer these questions:
    1. Was your experience positive or negative? Explain.
    2. What kind of guidance, if any, did this person give you?
    3. Were you encouraged or discouraged by him/her? Why?
      Share your thoughts with your group.
  2. Now read John 10:11-18 aloud (each person reads one verse). As you reflect on this passage, you’ll notice different characteristics of the Shepherd listed in a column on the left; on the right, compare and contrast the characteristics of your authority figure from question one. How are they similar? Different? (The group leader can read from this list or make copies before class).
    The Shepherd
    lays down his life for sheep
    knows and is known by sheep
    gathers sheep who don’t belong
    protects and defends sheep
    owns the flock
    Pick one or two points of comparison and share them with your group.
  3. Read the passage again. Why do you think Jesus used the picture of shepherd and sheep to illustrate the relationship between Himself and His disciples? Would any other example you have heard work better? If yes, what example?


Complete the following statements:

Knowing that Jesus is my shepherd makes me feel….

Because Jesus is my shepherd, I will…

Something new that I learned today is…


Have the entire group gather and close by singing the following song as your group prayer. (If this song is unfamiliar, read it as a prayer.)

The Lord is my shepherd, I’ll trust in Him always.

He knows me and He loves me, I’ll trust in Him always.


Always, always, I’ll trust in Him always.

Always, always, I’ll trust in Him always.

(May be sung as a round. Group 2 will begin when the first groups starts verse 2.)


Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 19, 1996.

Updated for youthESource in April  2015