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Bible Study: ‘My sheep hear my voice’

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NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.

Bible Passage: John 20:11-18

Discussion Questions:

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Food for Thought:

Read John 20:11–18. He said her name. That’s all it took. In order to raise Mary’s countenance and bring forth resurrection faith in her, Mary had to hear Him say her name. No, it wasn’t the gardener, as she first supposed; it was the second and last Adam, the One who came to undo the thorns and thistles the first Adam left us with. Mary knew at that moment that she was speaking with her Teacher, her Lord.

Like the disciples on the Emmaus Road (see Luke 24:13-35), Mary did not recognize Jesus immediately. Just as Jesus’ breaking and blessing of bread prompted the two disciples to realize Jesus was reclining with them, Jesus caused Mary to realize who was speaking to her by saying her name.

Similar to how the two disciples perceived Jesus to be among them in the breaking of bread, we should recognize that Jesus is with us as we take the bread and the cup in the Lord’s Supper. And as Mary heard Jesus calling to her near the empty tomb, we likewise should hear His voice calling to us in and through the Scriptures.

“My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). This is how Jesus described believers’ capacity to hear His voice and obey it. When the risen Jesus calls our name, we know in the very core of our being precisely who is speaking to us. Though we today haven’t received the opportunity to see Jesus in His glorified flesh, those of us who have experienced the new birth from the Spirit have effectively heard His voice.

Since Jesus has called us by name, we have no excuse for failing to heed His commands and we have every reason to live with joy and hope, as Mary no doubt did. We have heard His voice and therefore know how to listen to our Shepherd. Like Mary, once we’ve heard Jesus say our name, we should feel compelled to respond to our Teacher with honor, respect, praise and joyful obedience.

The Gospel Project

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The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at gospelproject.com [4].