April 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering – John 10 – The Good Shepherd
The April 2023 Come, Follow Me Ministering Printable ties together Elder Hugo Montoya’s October 2022 General Conference talk “The Eternal Principle of Love” and this April’s “Come, Follow Me” lesson on “I Am the Good Shepherd” in John 10.
Download April 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (4×6)
You can print these printables as 4×6 photo prints. My local drug store prints them for just pennies. They are also a higher resolution if you want to enlarge them.
April 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Message
John 10 – The Good Shepherd and the Door
In “Come, Follow Me” this month, we study John 10 and the parable of the Good Shepherd. I love the imagery of Christ as the deeply invested shepherd taking care of His flocks. But in this parable, Christ is not only the Good Shepherd, He also calls Himself the “door of the sheep” (John 10:7).
What Can We Learn From the Door of the Sheep?
An April 2014 article in the New Era called “One Fold and One Shepherd,” explains that, “A shepherd led his sheep to food and water during the day (see Psalm 23:1–2) and back to the fold at night. The shepherd would count the sheep as they returned, searching for strays if any were missing. He would then lie in the doorway of the fold to protect them.”
The walls of the ancient sheepfold were designed to keep the sheep in and predators and thieves out. Anybody who went through the door would have to crawl over the shepherd. The shepherd did not leave and trust his sheep to a simple door – the shepherd was the door.
I was struck by the image of Christ laying down at the gate to protect us. Just as the shepherd lays down at the gate to protect his sheep, Christ laid down His life for us, His sheep.
Is The Door of the Sheep the Only Way?
In the parable, Christ teaches that it is only by following His voice and entering through the gate that the sheep can enter the sheepfold and find safety and rest. Christ also warns that anybody who does not go through the door, but who climbs up another way, is a thief and a robber.
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:9-11
Unlike the thief, Christ has not come to destroy, but to give life, even if it means sacrificing His own life. It is only through Christ that we can gain eternal life.
How Does This Parable Illustrate Christ’s Commitment to Us?
As Christ’s sheep, we belong to Him. He knows us by name and we respond to His voice. Christ is not a hireling who is only there for the pay. He is there for us because we are His.
Christ explains, “But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”John 10:12-15
Later, we see this commitment play out in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ saw the wolf coming. He knew the suffering He would have to endure. He even pleads, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). But unlike the hireling, Christ stands His ground and confirms, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
Christ does not leave His post at the gate. He suffers for every one of us as he prays and bleeds from every pore.
In his October 2022 General Conference talk “The Eternal Principle of Love,” Elder Hugo Montoya shares:
I believe that the supreme demonstration of God’s love for us happened in Gethsemane, where the Son of the living God prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
I have noticed that the small portion that I can understand of the Atonement of Jesus Christ increases my love for the Father and His Son, decreases my desire to sin and to be disobedient, and increases my willingness to be better and do better.
Jesus walked with no fear and with no doubt to Gethsemane, trusting in His Father, knowing that He must tread the winepress alone. He endured all pain and all humiliation. He was accused, judged, and crucified. During His own agony and suffering on the cross, Jesus focused on the needs of His mother and His beloved disciple. He offered His life.
Shall Never Perish
Like the door of the sheep, Christ laid down His life for us so that we might gain peace and rest with our Heavenly Father forever.
Christ promises, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29
Elder Montoya reminds us of the absolute commitment Christ and our Heavenly Father have for us.
“Our Heavenly Father’s love for each of His children is real. He is there for each one. I don’t know how He does it, but He does. He and His Firstborn are one in doing the work and glory of the Father “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
This Easter as we reflect on the sacrifice and resurrection of our Savior, we can peacefully rest in the assurance of He who lays at the door.
April 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering Handout
You don’t see a lot of Easter candy with lambs, so I was super excited when I found Lindt Easter Milk Chocolate Mini Lambs! They are a little tricky to find though. In the stores, the little rabbit and chick ones are much more common. But I was able to find some at CVS, Amazon, and Target.
Did you like this April 2023 Come Follow Me Ministering message? Find more Relief Society Ministering Printables for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
These ministering printables are a great way to help families incorporate the “Come, Follow Me” lessons into their own study. They are also perfect for Young Women’s, Relief Society, Sunday School, or Family Home Evening. I hope that these ministering printables will be a simple way to reach out to those we minister to.