Sermon Recap

Sermon Discussion Questions John 5:18-29

Hey leaders,
Here’s a recap on this last week’s message. I hope it’s helpful in your own preparation process. Since a lot of this study will have to do with the relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and (implicitly) God the Holy Spirit, I would urge you to spend some time praying for the Spirit to come and reveal his truth to you and your group this week and ask him to show you where to apply these truths before you launch into the study.

Teaching Goal: Jesus imitates God the Father as Healer, Giver of Life, and Judge.

Application Goal: That when we know who Jesus is, we are able to imitate him in our lives in such a way that it brings other people to life.

TPQ:

The message this last week was all about how Jesus the Son imitates God the Father. To some degree, we all imitate our parents. What are some of the things that you imitate from your parents that you’re thankful for? What are some things that you imitate from your parents that you previously thought you’d never do?

Background info:

In the preceding section in John 5, Jesus healed a lame man and had him take up his bed and walk. The Pharisees ignored the fact that a man was just healed from his infirmity, and instead took issue with him for carrying something on the Sabbath. They later became enraged that Jesus would dare to heal someone on the Sabbath. This sets the stage for Jesus’ interaction with the Pharisees and his explanation of his relationship with the Father.

Read John 5:15-20

It says in v.18 that they wanted to kill Jesus because he made himself equal with God. Does Jesus deny this allegation? (No). What does he do instead? (Explains his relationship with the Father).

What do we learn about Jesus’ relationship with the Father in this passage?

  • They both work (v.17), the Son is not independent of the Father (v.19), the Son imitates the Father (v.19), the Father loves the Son (v.20a) and reveals everything that he is doing to him (v.20b).

What do we learn about how Jesus is imitating the Father in this passage?

  • 17 “My Father is working until now, and I am working”

Specifically, Jesus is referring to why he did the work of healing on the Sabbath. We learn from the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 that after the work of creation was done God “rested” from his work. The Sabbath commandment points back to that event (Exodus 20:8-11) when God told the Israelites to honor his work of creation by resting.

What do you think Jesus means when he says “My Father is working until now”?

  • At one level, it refers to God’s act of sustaining creation (see Hebrews 1:1-3)
  • Another thought here is that the original Sabbath was lost by the introduction of sin into creation. Ever since that time God has been working toward restoring the good creation he made that the Sabbath points to (Hebrews 4:9, Revelation 14:13).

How does knowing that God is at work for us help us to experience true rest?
Do you feel like you have this kind of rest in your life?

How can we imitate Jesus as he imitates the Father in healing?

  • A few answers could be: Being a community of healing from brokenness, praying for healing for physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, etc. Bearing one another’s burdens… 

Read John 5:20-29

There are two themes that Jesus addresses throughout the rest of this passage, so we’ll look at both of them: (1) Jesus imitates the Father by raising the dead; (2) Jesus imitates the Father by Judging

Jesus imitates the Father by raising the dead

Have people read aloud all the verses where Jesus talks about raising the dead in this passage

  • 21, 24, 25, 28, 29

According to verse 20b, why does Jesus tell us about his ability to raise the dead and give spiritual life?

  • So that we might marvel

As a group, talk to each other about the glories of the resurrection. What makes it important to you? Work on marveling at what God is doing in the resurrection! Contemplate the fact that he sent his Son to be the firstfruits of it (1 Corinthians 15:23). Honestly, for all I care you and your group could stay here and not even get the rest of the study if you spend time marveling at the resurrection.

If you do move on, follow up with this question: How can we “imitate” Jesus the way he imitates the Father when it comes to the resurrection?

  • 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”
  • We can imitate the way Jesus imitates the Father by being obedient in bringing the Word of Christ, which is God’s power for raising the spiritually dead to life, to those in our lives. God can raise the dead through us by the preaching of the gospel (see previous verse, John 5:24, John 6:63,68, John 20:30-31, Romans 1:16).

Lastly, Jesus imitates God the Father as a Judge.

Read the verses that speak of Jesus being a Judge:

  • 22, 24, 27, 28, 29

For starters, we have to notice that the resurrection and judgment are inextricably linked. Judgment is typically thought of as a bad thing; if anyone knows anything about the teachings of Jesus, it’s to not judge (Matthew 7:1).

Why is it good that Jesus is Judge?

  • It’s the foundation for our own ability to “turn the other cheek” (Romans 12:19-21)
  • It means that there’s actually purpose to our world, it’s not just random stuff happening all the time, some of which is ok and a lot of which that just plain sucks.
  • It means that evil will be punished, which is a good thing. It’s also a bad thing, because we do evil things. Which is why it’s so amazing that the Judge himself became the Defendant and was found guilty on our behalf so that we could experience the resurrection of life (v.29, 2 Corinthians 5:21).

There are many religions whose beliefs make Jesus to be something less than what is portrayed here. Adherents of eastern religions are happy to view Jesus as a philosopher or a good moral teacher. Western religions will recognize him as a prophet (Islam) or even a god-like being (as is the case with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons), but Jesus’ words in John 5 don’t seem to leave room for these interpretations (never mind the rest of the Gospel of John).

Why is it important for us to have a proper understanding of who Jesus is?

  • Essentially it boils down to v.23b (“Whoever does not honor the Son [you could argue, “for who he is”] does not honor the Father who sent him.”)

Think through some implications of how Jesus’ imitation of the Father and his role as a Judge have implications on our lives.

  • Here are some thoughts:
  • We can be peaceful like Christ because we know he will judge
  • We can become servants/lay our lives down for others (including enemies) like Christ because we know that he will judge
  • We can warn others of the judgment of Christ and share the fact that he will grant amnesty to anyone who trusts in him for salvation
  • We can grow in our own understanding of righteousness by looking to Christ, and then working toward restoration in our own communities because he is a perfect Judge

Sermon Discussion - John 2:1-12

Hey discussion leaders! Here’s some follow up questions from Aaron’s sermon from this last weekend. Hope it’s helpful. It’s probably a little long, so feel free to pick and choose what you want to highlight.
Teaching Goal:

That the way Jesus reveals his glory in John 2:1-12 points us to the fact that Jesus himself is our ultimate joy and gives us analogies to understand what that means.

Application Goal:

That people would seek to cultivate a greater enjoyment of Christ in their personal and communal (church) lives.

Thought provoking question:

What is something you enjoy a lot? This is pretty broad, so it could be a hobby, a food, a season, etc. Essentially, what is something that brings you a lot of joy? And what is it about that thing that gives you so much joy?

Intro questions:

Read John 2:1-2

This wedding took place right after Jesus called his disciples. What can you learn about the way Jesus pursues discipleship based on this passage? How does this inform the way that we pursue discipleship? How are we doing as a community at utilizing normal, day-to-day life occurrences for the discipleship mission? How can we improve?

Looking at the text:  (these should all be obvious answers from the text)

Read John 2:3-12

What is the problem they encounter?

How does Mary try to resolve it?

What is Jesus’ response?

How does the problem get resolved?

Interpretive questions:

What are some reasons Jesus responded the way that he did to his mother’s request? What is the significance of his “hour”?

Corresponding texts to “the hour”

  • John 7:30: “So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.”
  • John 8:20: “No one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.”
  • John 12:27: “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.”
  • John 12:23–24:“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

(The teaching point here is that Mary’s request at a wedding caused Jesus to look ahead to his own wedding, but he knew that his wedding would come at great expense to himself. Hence, “My hour has not yet come.” If you like sharing the gospel, this is a great place to insert it.)

What kind of vessels does Jesus have the servants fill up in 2:6-8? What do you think the significance of purification jars could be, rather than just having them fill normal drinking jars?

When the wine was served, it was incredibly abundant and it was delicious. What do you think Jesus is trying to communicate to us through that?

Near the end of the passage, it states “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed him.” Looking at the passage as a whole and what it symbolizes, how would you describe to a non-believing friend how this story “manifests” or “reveals” the glory of Christ?

Personal Questions:

We asked at the beginning about what you really enjoy in life and why you really enjoy it. Aaron’s sermon on this text was entitled “Jesus Is Joy.” Do you make time to enjoy Christ in your life? What are some ways that you cultivate enjoying Christ in your own life?

In the sermon, Aaron talked about how we can know a lot of facts about honey, that it’s sweet, sticky, good on peanut butter, etc. without actually ever experiencing the sweetness of honey for ourselves. Read Psalm 34:8. Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good? In what ways have you experienced it?

Jesus intentionally revealed his glory through abundance of wine at a wedding. What are some things about wine that make it enjoyable? How does the analogy of enjoying wine help us understand what it means to enjoy Jesus? (It may not be obvious, but the answer I’m looking for here would be to be intoxicated with him, see Ephesians 5:18, Isaiah 25:6-8).

How does the analogy of a wedding help us understand how we enjoy Christ?

Are there other scriptural analogies that have helped you enjoy Christ?

How can we encourage each other to taste, see (2:11, 1:14), know, understand, and practice enjoying God more?

Spare time questions:

We have a story here about a husband who had failed big in his first act as a husband by not providing enough wine for the wedding. How can this story help husbands who feel like they’re failing at their role in the home?

Why do you think Jesus would choose this as his first miracle? (from the sermon, Aaron compared it to a politician announcing that he’s running for office. It doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty details of his policies, but is designed to show where things are going).

Have you ever had a circumstance where you felt like you screwed something up big time (like the husband)? If you want to share, what was it? How does seeing Jesus help this guy out encourage you?

Sermon Discussion John 1:35-51

Here’s a few sermon discussion questions to help our church love God by applying his Word to our lives. Feel free to use these questions for personal reflection, alongside your family, within a smaller discipleship/journey group, or even within the context of your Life Group. If you missed Sunday’s sermon from John 1:35-51 you can view online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R1Uk1OBfx
In this passage, we’re reminded of two pillars in Jesus’ ministry:

  • ‘Come and see’
  • ‘Go and tell’

Come & See—

Jesus asks the followers of John “what are you seeking?” (what do you want?) and they answer back with their own question “where are you staying?”. Christ invites them to “come and see”, to follow Him and live and learn.

Q: are there questions I bring when I consider following Jesus? Do these questions draw me to Him or draw me away from him?

Aaron shared his experience of having his mom die suddenly years ago and how this could’ve drawn his family away from Christ but instead it drew them closer. And Rita observed all this and saw the depth of their faith.

Q: who is in your life, watching you and observing your relationship with Christ? How are they drawn to ‘Come & See’ who Jesus is?

Go & Tell—

We see these first followers (Andrew, Philip) telling their friends/family about Jesus and leading them to Him.

Q: when is the last time you told someone about Jesus and who He is to you? Who can you be talking with about Jesus?

Jesus interacts with Nathanael, revealing His knowledge of Nathaniel (and His knowing what was probably Nathanael’s secret place). Nathanael responds with acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ.

Jesus tells him that He is the connecting point between heaven and earth. We all have a ministry to let others know who Christ is and that He is the bridge between heaven & earth.

Q: who are you in relationship with that needs to know who Christ is and that He is our bridge to the Father? Perhaps God is using you as a bridge as well. Discuss how this might be?

 

John Memory Verses:

Next Week’s Passage:

John 2:1-12

 

 

John 1:1-5 Follow Up Discussion

Here’s a few sermon discussion questions to help our church love God by applying his Word to our lives. Feel free to use these questions for personal reflection, alongside your family, within a smaller discipleship/journey group, or even within the context of your Life Group. If you missed Sunday’s sermon from John 1:1-5, you can view online here: http://thecrossingfc.org/sermons/the-word-is-life-and-light/
 

John 1:1-5  Discussion Questions:

TPQ (Thought Provoking Question):  In his sermon this past Sunday, Aaron described a scene in a dark cave. Where’s the darkest place you’ve ever been? (a cave, a rural road, camping on a mountain, etc.)  How did you react to such literal darkness?   As we begin to look at this passage in John’s gospel, we’ll see how the apostle John contrasts light & darkness.

1.  In verse 1, John uses wording that calls to mind the opening verses in Genesis (In the beginning…). How does this set the tone for the rest of this passage? Why does he want to harken us back to Genesis when he’s about to tell us about the ministry of Jesus in first century Palestine?  How does Christ as “the Word” connect with the creation account in Genesis?

2.  John goes on to tell us some things about this Word (Jesus).  Pastor Aaron brought out 5 characteristics or roles of the Word in these 5 verses. Can you identify them and share a little about the significance of each one?

>> The Word (Jesus) is:

Eternal-  John points to Genesis 1 and a new creation, but a story older than time.

Personal-  Jesus was with God, in relationship. ‘face to face’. Points to the Trinity

God (divine)-  Jesus being not just like God, but God Himself. We’ll see this unpacked in the 7 ‘I am’ statements.
Q:  what difference does it make to you that Jesus is God?

Creator-  Jesus created all things and He Himself was not created. He is the source & the force behind all creation. (cf Col 1:15-17)

Life & Light-  Jesus is the essence of spiritual life & glory that overcomes sin. The darkness has no power or means to overcome or to vanquish the light.

3. How does this knowledge about Jesus affect the way you see Him and act toward Him? Why does John think it’s important for us to know these things about Jesus from the very start of his gospel account

4.  Christ is the source of all light & life. Where else do you & I look for ‘life’ rather than in Him? What about non-believers; where do they look for ‘life’ this time of year? How can we, with the knowledge of Who the true Life really is, where pure Light really defeats darkness, how can we connect with those who are searching for life & light? This week? This season? Be specific.

 

For further reflection on the Trinity:

Here’s a great graphic explaining the trinity: http://www.challies.com/visual-theology/visual-theology-the-trinity

Here’s an article for further reading on the great doctrine of the Trinity: https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/kevindeyoung/2011/09/28/the-doctrine-of-the-trinity-no-christianity-without-it/

How does our view of “1 God, manifested in 3 distinct person’s” challenge your thinking? How does this view of God differ from other religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses?

 

 

Song of Solomon 8:6 quiz

Song of Solomon 8:6, “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm..”
This past Sunday we looked what it meant for Shulammith to be a seal on Solomon’s heart and arm. Here is a fun little quiz to see how we are doing husbands.

Lover’s Quotient Test*

We need to find out just how creative you are as a husband! let’s take the following Lover’s Quotient Test. Give yourself ten points for each item on the following list if you have done it once in the past six months. If you have done any item on the list two or more times, you get twenty points.
Once again: don’t take the results too seriously, but do take them seriously enough!

____ Have you phoned her during the week and asked her out for one evening that weekend without telling her where you are taking her? A mystery date is what we have in mind!
____ Have you given her an evening completely off? You clean up the kitchen; you take care of the kids; you get things settled for the night.
____ Have you gone parking with her at some safe and secluded spot and kissed and talked for an evening?
____ Have you drawn a bath for her after dinner? Put a scented candle in the bathroom; added bath oil to the bath; sent her there right after dinner, and then you cleaned up and put the kids to bed while she relaxed? (In order to get any points for this you must also clean up the tub!)
____ Have you phoned her from work to tell her you were thinking nice thoughts about her? (You get no points for this one if you asked her what was in the mail or what is for dinner!)
____ Have you written her a love letter and sent it special delivery? (First class mail will do.)
____ Have you made a tape recording of all the reasons you have for loving her? Given it to her wrapped in a sheer negligee?
____ Have you picked up your clothes just one time in the past six months and put them on hangers?
____ Have you given her an all-over body massage with scented lotion? (If not, why not?)
____ Have you spent a session of making love to her that included at least two hours of romantic conversation, shared dreams, and much variety of approach and caresses?
____ Have you repaired something around the house that she has not requested?
____ Have you kissed her passionately for at least thirty seconds one morning just before you left for work or one evening when you walked in the door?
____ Have you brought her an unexpected little gift like perfume, a ring, or an item of clothing?
____ Have you replaced her old negligee?
____ Have you given her a day off? Sent her out to do what she wants? You clean the house, fix the meals, and take care of the kids. (My wife says you ought to get thirty points for this one!)
____ Have you put a special-effects recording of ocean waves on tape and played it while you had a luau on the living room floor? Other creative evening adventures may be substituted!
____ Have you spent a whole evening (more than two hours) sharing mutual goals and planning family objectives with her and the children?
____ Have you ever planned a surprise weekend? You make the reservations and arrange for someone to keep the children for two days. Tell her to pack her suitcase, but don’t tell her where you are going (just be sure it’s not the Super Bowl). Make it someplace romantic.

This ridiculous test has been given to men all over the country. Let’s see how your scores compare with theirs:

200–360 – Awesome! You are the man! You undoubtedly have one of the most satisfied wives in the country. You are in the top one percent!
150–200 – Way to go! Very few make this category. You are a top-ten candidate! Your wife probably smiles a lot!
100–150 – This husband is the norm and usually not very exciting as a lover. You are steady, but there are not many fireworks in the area of romance from your wife’s perspective.
50–100 – Boring! You can do better than this! Too many score in this category. I hope you will begin to work to move up soon.
0–50 – Ouch! Sad! Sad! Sad! There is a huge difference between a typical husband and a lover. The only reason your wife is still married to you is that She’s a Christian. She has unusual capacity for unconditional acceptance (of you!), and some verses in the Bible sustain her.

*(Adapted from Jody Dillow’s “Lover’s Quotient Test.”)