“April 24–30. John 7–10: ‘I Am the Good Shepherd,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“April 24–30. John 7–10,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
Record Your Impressions
Although Jesus Christ came to bring “peace [and] good will toward men” (Luke 2:14), there was “a division among the people because of him” (John 7:43). People who witnessed the same events came to very different conclusions about who Jesus was. Some concluded, “He is a good man,” while others said, “He deceiveth the people” (John 7:12). When He healed a blind man on the Sabbath, some insisted, “This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day,” while others asked, “How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles?” (John 9:16). Yet despite all the confusion, those who searched for truth recognized the power in His words, for “never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). When the Jews asked Jesus to “tell us plainly” whether he was the Christ, He revealed a principle that can help us distinguish truth from error: “My sheep hear my voice,” He said, “and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:24, 27).
The Jews marveled that Jesus knew so much, since He was not learned (see verse 15)—at least, not in ways they were familiar with. In Jesus’s response, He taught a different way of knowing truth that is available to everyone, regardless of education or background. According to John 7:14–17, how can you come to know that the doctrine Jesus taught is true? How has this process helped you develop your testimony of the gospel?
When speaking about the Savior’s interaction with the woman taken in adultery, Elder Dale G. Renlund said: “Surely, the Savior did not condone adultery. But He also did not condemn the woman. He encouraged her to reform her life. She was motivated to change because of His compassion and mercy. The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible attests to her resultant discipleship: ‘And the woman glorified God from that hour, and believed on his name’ [see John 8:11, footnote c]” (“Our Good Shepherd,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 30).
When have you felt like the woman, receiving mercy instead of condemnation from the Savior? When have you been like the scribes and Pharisees, accusing or judging others even when you are not without sin? (see John 8:7). What else can you learn from the way the Savior interacted with the scribes and Pharisees and the woman caught in adultery? What do you learn about the Savior’s forgiveness as you read these verses?
See also “Go and Sin No More” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
What does John 9:1–3 teach you about the challenges and afflictions of life? As you read John 9, ponder how the “works of God [were] made manifest” in the life of the man born blind. How have they been made manifest in your life—including in your afflictions?
Even if you aren’t familiar with sheep and shepherding, reading John 10, where the Savior says, “I am the good shepherd,” can teach you important truths about Him. To find these truths, look for phrases that describe what a good shepherd is like and then consider how those phrases apply to the Savior. Below are some examples:
Verse 3: “He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them.”
Verse 11: He “giveth his life for the sheep.”
Verse 16: “There shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
Here are some additional questions to help you ponder this chapter: How is Jesus like a door? (see verses 7–9). How has He given you “life … more abundantly”? (verse 10). When have you felt that He knows you personally? (see verse 14). How do you recognize the Good Shepherd’s voice? (see verse 27).
John 7:24.To help your family understand Jesus’s teaching in John 7:24, you might show them something that looks one way on the outside but is different on the inside. Or family members could share experiences that taught them not to judge by outward appearances. You could also list qualities of each family member that aren’t visible to the eye (see also 1 Samuel 16:7; Thomas S. Monson, “See Others as They May Become,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 68–71).
John 9.How could you help your family visualize the account of Jesus healing the blind man in John 9? You could act out the story together or show the video “Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Pause the story occasionally so that family members can read the corresponding verses from John 9. Invite them to note any lessons they learn from the account, such as what it means to become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
John 10:1–18, 27–29.To involve family members in learning from the parable of the good shepherd, ask each of them to draw a picture of one of the following: a thief, a door, a shepherd, a hireling (a hired worker), a wolf, and a sheep. Invite them to read John 10:1–18, 27–29, and then discuss as a family what the Savior taught about the things they drew.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested hymn: “The Lord Is My Shepherd,” Hymns, no. 108.