We’re continuing in the Advent season with week 4. Here are this week’s sermon discussion questions from Rich’s sermon on John 1:9-13.
TPQ: is there a particular gift you can remember getting at Christmas that, not long after you got it, you lost interest in it. Maybe it was a ‘fad’ gift like we see every year. Why do you think we look to things for a sense of fulfillment?
Fads may come & go, but the birth of Jesus impacted the world in a way like no other. Thus, we’re forced to consider who He was and why He was born. The gospel writer compels us to ask what we believe about Jesus.
John earlier called Jesus the Word; now he calls Jesus the Light. He uses the image of light in darkness and harkens back to Isaiah 9.
Jesus is the True Light and His light is exhaustive. It is a light that both exposes and illuminates. His light shows us who we are in the dark, our own sinfulness. We’re also shown the elements of this dark world: acts of terror, sickness, despair.
Jesus was not recognized or acknowledged, even though he was the source of all that is. The world has missed who He is ever since. Even His own people didn’t see Him or receive Him as their expected messiah.
Q: why do you think people don’t recognize Jesus for who He is today? What gets in the way?
The Light of Christ not only reveals who we are and who He is, it also guides us. Through Him, we’re shown the way of belief to become children of God. This is a gift given to us by God. It’s not a natural, manipulated process; it is a reality that originates from God, a birth where He is the father.
Q: what difference does it make that being a child of God is His doing rather than ours?
Q: John makes a point of saying that this also involves our own belief. What keeps people from believing, in 2016 America? How might we help nonbelievers bridge the gap of unbelief through our own relationship with them?