Weekly questions and information
Jesus calls himself “the light of the world”. In chapter 9, He demonstrates the truth of his claim by bringing light physically and spiritually to a man born blind.
- What stood out to you from this week’s sermon?
- What question did the disciples ask Jesus as they passed by the blind man?
Why would they ask this question?
(Hint: It was a common assumption at this time to think God punished sin by causing physical afflictions).
What can blind you to the unfortunate situation of people?
- What does Jesus do when he sees this blind man?
How is this an example of the way that Christ’s followers should respond to people in need?
- Jesus makes mud from spittle and places it upon the man’s eyes.
Could Jesus have healed the man without the mud and washing?
What do we learn from this?
- Read John 9:13-17.
The Pharisees added rules for keeping the Sabbath.
How did these rules influence their opinion about Jesus?
What does this tell us about how religion (i.e., man-made rules) we can get things about Jesus wrong?
- Read John 9:24-25.
When the blind man is brought back before the religious leaders for questioning, what did he know about Jesus?
How much do you need to know about Jesus in order to tell someone about Him?
- Read John 9:18-23.
Why are the healed man’s parents afraid?
What does their response tell us about following Jesus?
(Hint: Sometimes becoming a Christian can make things harder not easier.)
- How did the blind man’s view of Jesus change?
What message does that send to us as we walk with new believers?
The religious leaders seek to entrap Jesus and bring to him a woman caught in the very act of adultery demanding that she be stoned. But Jesus responds with mercy rather than judgment.
Jesus is a Man of compassion and mercy triumphs over judgment.
- Think about a time where you were “caught with your hand in the cookie jar” – when your sin was exposed for others to see.
How did you feel?
What did you want more than anything at that moment?
- Put yourself in this scene.
What would be the emotions of the woman as she is “caught in the act” of adultery?
If you were standing in the crowd what would you be thinking?
- What is the question the Scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus?
Is there a way Jesus can answer the question without giving his accusers additional support for their case against him?
- If Jesus agreed with the Pharisees that the woman should be stoned, how would that answer have given the Pharisees additional charges against him?
- If He suggested that the woman be let go and forgiven, how would that have given the Pharisees additional charges against him?
- Why was Jesus’ response the absolute best response He could have given in this situation?
- Why do you think it’s so natural for people to assume that God is quick to judge and condemn them?
To what extent has that assumption shaped your relationship with God?
- Read Romans 8:1-2 and Matthew 7:3-5.
How does this help you face some of the sins that you struggle with?
- One of the messages we get from this piece of history is that Jesus accepts you just as you are.
Does that free you to change?
Or does it give you license to sin?
- Is there someone in your life that you have trouble forgiving?
How can your small group help you?
Jesus came to be a different kind of king than the people wanted or expected. He did not come to be a conquering general or political ruler, but a king who would give his life for the world (as prophesied in Isaiah 53). Jesus became our sacrifice so that we could receive forgiveness and have a relationship with God. The proper response to Jesus, is to follow Jesus for who he truly is, rather than what we may want him to be. Here in chapter 7 Jesus attends the Feast of Tabernacles where we see seven different opinions as to who Jesus is. So the focus of this week’s discussion is “Who is this man Jesus” and why it’s important to have the right understanding of Him.
- If someone were to approach you on the street and ask you, “Who is Jesus?” how would you respond?
How would most people in America respond to that same question?
- What responsibility do Christians, who understand who Jesus is, have to help people understand who Jesus really is, and the gift of grace that he extends to all people?
- If someone tells you, “I believe that Jesus was a very good man, but I don’t believe He is God.” How would you reply?
What evidence could you give to say Jesus wasn’t a liar?
What evidence could you give that Jesus wasn’t a lunatic?
- Why would someone not be able to accept Jesus as Lord if they clearly believe He was neither a liar or lunatic?
- What does it mean to a non believer to accept Jesus as Lord? What does it mean to a believer?
- Comment on the 4 principles Bill taught on how to evangelize:
- Vs 6 – Timing — Share in God’s timing not yours. Pray, “God Reveal your time Lord”
- Vs 14 – Contact — You have to have contact with non believers
- Vs 19 – Do it in the right way — Ask questions instead of making statements
- Vs 37 – Content – Use the scriptures: Look for the part of a person’s life that needs quenching and show them how Jesus can satisfy it
In chapter 6, Jesus makes the first of 7 declarations unique to John’s gospel, “I am the bread of Life”. It represents a particular relationship of Jesus and the spiritual needs of humans. He desires that people should receive him, not simply for what he might give them, but for what he might be to them. In John 6 we see that Jesus did not come into the world mainly to give bread, but to be bread.
- What is the unseen spiritual reality with the sign of the bread?
- What is the significance of the 12 baskets being left over at the end?
- Read John 6:1-15
What is the reaction of the crowd when they realize the miracle that has taken place when Jesus feeds them all?
How do you imagine you would have reacted, given that no one yet understood fully who Jesus was?
- What is the faith lesson that Phillip and Andrew along with the other disciples learned that day?
Is there a lesson for you to learn through the story of this miracle?
- After Jesus feeds the 5,000 with two small fish and five barley loaves, the crowd wants to make him their king.
Later, after hearing his teaching, they want to abandon him.
Why has the attitude of the crowd changed so dramatically?
- When you first decided to follow Jesus what were you expecting in return?
How have your expectations changed since then?
- What things of this world are filling you up, leaving no room for the true Bread from heaven?
What would your ‘diet’ look like for you to be adequately fed and nourished by Jesus?
Jesus is the Bread of life, the One in whom we are sustained and satisfied. And filled by the Bread of Life, we go out into the world, urging the hungry to turn to Christ for salvation.
Many experience an internal struggle with faith and trust. It all comes down to who you are going to rely upon? We like to be in control when we should totally surrender to God. We like things to be safe and comfortable. But Jesus never promised us a safe and comfortable life. We want to manage outcomes. But when we became a follower of Christ, we rendered control to Him. Two things things get in the way of us totally surrendering to Him are fear and pride. This week’s discussion will revolve about the issue of reliance. Because God desires us to be totally reliant upon him but that takes trust and faith
- What is something you learned in last weekend’s message?
- Read Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
- What does it mean to trust God?
- What is the difference between passive trust and active trust?
- Give some examples of when you have trusted God and how you made the decision to trust him rather than lean on your own understanding and strength.
- What does it mean that God will “make you paths straight”? What are some actual examples?
- God continually lead the Israelites into situations over which they had no control.
- What areas of your life feel out of control?
- Where do you feel your control slipping?
- How can you “lean” into that experience?
- Read Hebrews 11: 8
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
- Did God show Abraham what was in the land?
- How can we have the faith to do what God wants us to even if we aren’t shown the final outcome?
- What choices or changes do you need to make in order to be obedient to God?
- Following God is not safe. How has that statement played out in your life?
The living water that Jesus offers is for everyone. Jesus chose to talk with a Samaritan woman who was a social and moral outcast in her community. Jesus crossed multiple social lines by even asking her for a drink. This unlikely conversation led an unnamed woman to realize that the thirst of her soul could only be satisfied by what Jesus had to offer because he is the Messiah. Jesus reveals that he is the great “I AM” who has come to meet the deepest needs of every person.
Jesus has come into our world so that we might believe and have eternal life. This offer is for everyone regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what their past has been.
- Have you ever tried to find meaning and purpose apart from Jesus? What kinds of things did you pursue in order satisfy the longing of your soul? Was the result really satisfying.
- John 4:9 What social and religious barriers does Jesus break by his simple request for a drink? Why did Jesus break the social protocol to speak with the woman?
- What do we learn about Jesus’ character from His meeting with this woman?
- What does Jesus offer to both Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman? What is the central message in his conversations with “righteous” Nic and the “unrighteous” woman?
- Jesus does not confront her with the truth about God or her life. How did Jesus gently lead her to the the truth with invitation and curiosity? How might you use this approach to engage a person about the gospel?
- What did the woman do as soon as she left the well? Do you think that she went to the same people that she may have been trying to avoid by coming to the well at the sixth hour (noon)?
- What was the woman’s message to the people she rushed into town to tell about Jesus? How much did she know about Jesus? Was what she knew enough to convince people to come and see Jesus? Why wasn’t this woman afraid to tell people about Jesus?