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With his conflict with the religious leaders at its peak (note how the previous chapter ended), and the people divided over who he is or might be, Jesus intensifies matters by claiming that he, and not their leaders, is shepherding God’s people in the way that rescues them and leads them to life (almost certainly referring back to Ezekiel 34:11-16). How have you experienced Jesus as “the good Shepherd”?

You’ll also notice that, once again, what Jesus is saying about himself in this chapter is making it clear to the people listening that he, “a mere man, claim[s] to be God” (v. 33). John keeps taking us to this conclusion in his Gospel (and he’s not done yet!). Why do you think that is? And what does it reveal about God when Jesus says, as he does numerous times in this chapter, that he is sacrificing his life for his sheep? Finally, don’t let the amazing words of verses 27-30 pass by unnoticed. Take them to heart and be encouraged