"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own."
As we start our study of John, chapter 10, we must view it in context as a continuation of the events of chapter 9. Last week we read about a man who had lived his entire life in physical blindness. His only source of livelihood was to beg. And yet when he was taken to the religious leaders, who viewed themselves as the shepherds of God's flock, they had no care for him as a person. They experienced no thankfulness for his restored condition. In fact, they were disturbed and cast him out of fellowship. His healing made them uncomfortable. How thankful we should be that even though people will often let us down, the Lord loves us and is concerned about our needs. Stop and pray as you begin that you will learn to view the Lord as David did when he confidently said: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." Psalm 23:1
Read John, chapter 10 all the way through. Now read John 10:1-21, and record the important facts. You do not need to use complete sentences. You may also group several verses together to capture a complete thought, action or statement. Determine a title for this section.
DAY #2 Read John 10:1-13 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Shepherding in Israel
Shepherding in the land of Israel has not changed much since the time of Jesus. John 10:1-5 describes a typical morning scene. Often several flocks of sheep are kept together in a stone walled enclosure. It is guarded at night by a doorkeeper to prevent thieves or predators from entering. In the morning, the shepherd stands at the entrance and calls his sheep, often calling them by name. They recognize his voice and come to him. The sheep then follow him as he leads them out to the fields to pasture where they will stay for weeks at a time. At night, the shepherd leads his flock into a small stone enclosure built for this purpose out in the fields. There are no doors, therefore he lays at the entrance to guard against intruders, thereby actually becoming the door.
1) Read John 10:3 and 4. What a wonderful description of the personal relationship we can have with Jesus! Explain each of the following elements of the relationship He describes in these verses. What does each mean to you personally and what is your role in response?
A. The sheep hear His voice
B. He calls His own sheep by name
C. He leads them out, He goes before them
D. The sheep follow Him, for they know His voice
E. They won't follow a stranger, they flee from him
God's Leadership Training Program
Many of the great men of the Old Testament were shepherds first. Then God called them into a position of leading His people (e.g. Abraham, Moses and David). Possibly the skills they learned and the long hours out in the open fields with no one to talk to but God and the sheep were the perfect training ground for godly leadership.
2) The fact that there have always been, and always will be, false shepherds is evident as we read this passage. Describe what the Lord has to say about those who are not appointed by Him and who do not have His same care and concern.
Actions and traits of false shepherds How their actions affect the sheep
A. John 10:10
B. John 10:12-13
C. Ezekiel 34:4-6
DAY #3 WELL CARED FOR SHEEP
1) Read John 10:10. Write out the definition of the word "abundant" from the dictionary.
A. Using the definition above, describe the quality and quantity of life that the Lord has in mind for you. Give as many practical applications as you can.
B. *Personal* Are you experiencing less than what the Lord has for you in your life? Why do you think this is? Pause and pray that the Lord will reveal to you if you've strayed from His fold. Could it be that you think the grass is greener in the pastures (and pleasures) of "this world?" Have you heard His voice lately? Have you listened? Have you followed? Will you?
2) *MEMORY VERSE* Write out John 10:10b on a 3x5 index card. Commit this comforting and encouraging verse to memory.
3) Read John 10:11, 17 and 18. There was a price to pay for the life that Jesus provides for us. *Quote* "Five times in this chapter Jesus told of the sacrificial nature of His death. He did not die as a martyr, killed by men; He died as a substitute, willingly laying down His life for us." Warren W. Wiersbe. Actions speak louder than words. What does this say to you?
4) "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own." John 10:14 This verse speaks volumes.
A. Does this mean that the Lord understands who we are uniquely and knows all of our individual needs? In Psalm 23 David confirmed that the Lord's care was detailed and thorough. What need do you have? What comfort do you receive knowing that the Lord knows? Share your heart.
B. Can you say that you are growing in your knowledge and understanding of our Lord? Read Philippians 3:7-10 and explain the importance placed on knowing the Savior. What importance do you place on this?
5) Jesus told them, "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd." Jews and Gentiles are now included in God's flock. No physical trait should separate us from God or each other. What unites us according to this scripture? What blesses you about this and why?
Read John 10:22-42. Record the important facts from this last section of chapter 10. Remember to not get too detailed. Just record the important main facts.
Feast of Dedication (John 10:22)
Today we know this Jewish Holiday as Hanukkah. It is an eight day feast in late November or December. From 176-164 B.C. the Syrians profaned the Temple by setting up an idol on the altar. In 164 B.C. Judas Maccabeus drove out the Syrians, built a new altar, and rededicated the Temple. The feast of Dedication commemorates the cleansing of the Temple and the altar.
1) Notice the intense atmosphere of John 10:24. The Jews actually surrounded Jesus. It is obvious that they really didn't want to know the answer to the question they posed in verse 24. Record the statements of Jesus and the response of the Jewish leaders. Share any insights you gain.
The Jews react
A. John 10:25
B. John 10:30
C. John 10:36
D. John 10:37-38
A. John 10:31
B. John 10:39
Jesus said, "I and My Father are one." John 10:30
2) Jesus was, is and will always be God. This is a truth that the cults deviate from. Jesus was clear on this, are you? From the verses used above in question one, fix in your mind the points that Jesus used to inform them of and emphasis His deity. Mark your Bible to be ready to share with a cult member if given the opportunity. Add any other scriptures you have learned in the Gospel of John that confirms this important truth.
3) John 10:28-29 mentions "The Hand of Jesus" and "The Hand of the Father." What a safe, strong, secure place to be!
A. Use these verses to write a statement of comfort to a child who is afraid.
B. Use the same verses to describe to yourself the security you can have as you face the future.
DAY #6 HE RESTORES MY SOUL
1) This chapter is full of comforting word pictures. Prayerfully go before the Lord as "your Good Shepherd" and ask Him to lead you and guide you as you grow in Him in the areas mentioned in the precious Psalm below. Make notes beside the statements that you desire to claim in your own life.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
2) What do the things that you have learned in this lesson mean to you? How do they apply to your everyday life? How can they affect the way you view the past, the present and the future? Challenge yourself by writing three questions of encouragement and exhortation to yourself to apply these concepts to you life. You may ask: Will I? How can I? How can I learn to....?
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me." Psalm 23:4
We have learned much about Jesus as we have studied the Gospel of John. At times it has almost seemed that we have been in the crowd listening to Him speak and watching Him heal. We have learned that Jesus has power:
a. over the elements (walking on water);
b. over physical things (turning water into wine, feeding the multitude with just a few loaves and fishes); and
c. over illness and physical handicaps (healing the blind and sick).
In chapter 11, we will discover that He also has power over death. No person, whether a physician, scientist, or religious guru can ever make this claim and then proceed to prove it. But Jesus did!
Death is the one thing that many people fear the most. Let us begin this study with a prayer to trust Him even in the "shadow of death."
Read John, chapter 11:1-31 and record the important facts. Give a title to this section.
DAY #2 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
*Note* There are several questions in this lesson that might seem very challenging. There will be a asterisk (*) by those questions. Stop and pray that the Lord will give you insight as you answer each one. If the answer does not seem clear, do not worry. Skip that question and go back to it later. If it still does not seem clear, still do not worry. Look forward to being blessed as you later hear others' answers.
1) In chapter 11, we meet a family from Bethany, which was a village just a few miles from the city of Jerusalem. Share what you learn about the two sisters as recorded in Luke 10:38-42.
2) Describe the emotions that must have accompanied the urgent message in John 11:3.
*3) In John 11:4, Jesus heard the news. He was calm. Explain what you think He meant by "This sickness is...for the Glory of God, that the Son of God may be Glorified by it."
*4) We learn in verse 6 that Jesus didn't immediately rush to aid His beloved sick friend. Why do you think He delayed two days?
"God is seldom early, but never late!"
DAY #3 Read John 11:7-31 "MARTHA, DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?"
1) Danger awaited Jesus if He went to Judea (the region where Bethany was located). Jesus knew that the next time He entered Jerusalem would be His last. What is He communicating in verses 9-10 concerning the limited time of His ministry?
*2) Read John 11:11-14 very carefully. Jesus likened the physical death of Lazarus to sleep. What did He mean?
3) In Luke 10:42, Jesus exhorted Martha to be more interested in spiritual things. Martha loved Jesus and hopefully took His rebuke to heart and grew. Let's take a close look at Martha's actions and conversation with Jesus in John 11:20-27. Sometimes our faith grows and stretches one step at a time. Record what you observe of these steps of growth in Martha's faith in the following verses. In your own words, state what you see.
A. vs. 20
B. vs. 21
C. vs. 22
D. vs. 23-24
E. vs. 25-27
4) The words of John 11:25-26 are some of the most powerful and comforting in the New Testament. Death is man's mortal enemy! Share how the following passages can give comfort to you or someone you know facing this "formidable foe."
A. John 11:25-26
B. I Thessalonians 4:13-14
C. I Corinthians 15:53-55
5) *Memory Verse* Write out John 11:25-26 on a 3x5 index card.
A. Memorize this passage as a powerful tool for "hope that is imperishable."
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me,
though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26
B. Jesus asks us, "Do you believe this?" To believe is to have confidence in the truth and reliability of this statement. To us, as Christians, belief is a verb not just a noun. How can confidence in this promise affect your life?
6) Martha left the presence of Jesus with words of hope and assurance. In verses 28-29, we learn that the first thing she did was to go get Mary to encourage her to also go to Him. Explain how each of their actions can be an example to us?
Read John 11:32-57 through again. Now go back and record the facts you observe. Give a title to this section.
DAY #5 "LAZARUS, COME FORTH!"
*WEEPING* It was customary in that day for the grieving process to be demonstrated in a loud unrestrained manner. Friends would gather around the family and weep and wail loudly. Wealthy families would often hire professional mourners to add to the volume level. By contrast, the word wept in verse 35 denotes a quiet shedding of tears.
"Jesus wept." John 11:35
This is the shortest verse in the Bible, and yet it speaks volumes.
1) Share what you learn about the compassion of Jesus in John 11:33-38. Also read Hebrews 4:15 which says "For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities."
2) Read John 11:39-40. Jesus again challenged Martha's faith. In a warm country like Israel, decay sets in rapidly. It took a lot of faith to believe that Jesus could have prevented the death of Lazarus. But now the ultimate challenge of faith is set forth.
A. What reward of faith did Jesus proclaim? (vs. 40)
B. Describe how Jesus proved His claim in John 11:43-44.
3) We have thus far observed actions and conversations of the three main characters, Jesus and the sisters. Let us now view the occurrences of verses 43-44 from Lazarus' experience. Put yourself in his position, and describe this incredible death to life experience.
*Quote* Ben Franklin wrote the following epitaph for his own tomb: "The Body of Benjamin Franklin, Printer, Like the Cover of an Old Book, Its Contents Torn Out, Stripped of Its Lettering and Gilding, Lies Here, Food for Worms. Yet the Work Itself shall not be Lost; for it will, as He Believed, Appear once More in a New and More Beautiful Edition, Corrected and Amended by The Author."
4) We will also someday respond to a shout from Christ! Lazarus rose to physical life, only to die physically again.
A. From I Thessalonians 4:16-18, explain how our experience will be different.
B. Prayerfully meditate on that incredible, wonderful experience of I Thessalonians 4:16-18. Explain in your own words how you might think and feel in that moment.
5) Read John 11:45-52. Many of the Jews saw and "believed." They were eyewitnesses. Some went and reported to the Jewish leadership. They could no longer deny the power and abilities of Jesus to do "works and signs." Finally, their true motives for opposing Jesus are revealed. Explain what they were and what they planned to do about it.
6) *Optional digging deeper* Read John 11:49-52. Note that this prophecy confirms the Lord's plan for the worldwide family of God as stated in John 10:16.
1) In the 11th chapter of John, we have learned that sometimes the Lord delays so that He might work even more powerfully in a situation that is absolutely hopeless by human standards. Have you ever prayed and then had to wait for the Lord to work? Are you waiting right now? Could it be that the Lord desires to stretch your faith? Are you willing to trust Him? Are you willing to trust Him with faith and expectancy in your heart? Share how the lessons in this chapter encourage you. Also read Isaiah 40:31.
2) Prayerfully ponder this lesson. Share three lessons, encouragements or exhortations that apply to you personally. Ask the Lord to help you grow and be confident in Him in these areas.
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection, and the life."
*Quote* As a young man, D.L. Moody was called upon suddenly to preach a funeral sermon. He hunted all throughout the four Gospels trying to find one of Christ's funeral sermons, but searched in vain. He found that Christ broke up every funeral he ever attended. Death could not exist where he was. When the dead heard his voice they sprang to life. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection, and the life."
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Initial Mission Accomplished
John's purpose for writing this gospel was "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31. With this purpose in mind, he carefully recorded seven sign miracles. To those whose hearts and minds are eager for truth, they provide the evidence that Jesus truly is the Son of God. As we have seen in our studies, Jesus has now validated His ministry and substantiated His claims to deity by performing these miracles.
Jesus' Seven "Signs"
1. Turning water into wine (2:1-11)
2. Healing official's son in Capernaum (4:46-54)
3. Healing an invalid at pool of Bethesda (5:1-18)
4. Feeding the 5,000 in Galilee (6:5-14)
5. Walking on water, Sea of Galilee (6:16-21)
6. Healing a blind man in Jerusalem (9:1-7)
7. Raising Lazarus from the dead in Bethany (11:38-45)
Final Days, Countdown to the Cross
"The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified." John 12:23
As we begin our study of chapters 12-21 of the Gospel of John, it is important to realize that these verses record the final days of Jesus' life and ministry here on earth. Throughout His ministry, we have seen that Jesus knew His time was limited and therefore precious. He told His disciples "I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him Who sent Me." John 7:33 Even though the jealousy and resentment of some of the Jewish leaders had been intense to the extent that they tried to kill Him, "His time had not yet come." "When they sought to stone Him, going through the midst of them, He passed by." John 8:59
Now Jesus clearly informs His disciples "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified." John 12:23 Stop and pray right now that your heart, soul and mind will be open to see, hear and learn from our Lord as He prepares to face the "penalty of sin and death" for our sake.
Read John, chapter 12 all the way through. Go back and carefully read John 12:1-19, recording the important facts. Give a title to this portion of scripture.
DAY #2 Read John 12:1-8 and Mark 14:3-9 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
1) We read that Jesus returns to Bethany six days before the Passover. Four days later, a dinner is held in His honor at Simon's house. It is most likely that Jesus had healed Simon. If he was still a leper, it would not have been lawful or safe to dine in his house due to the highly contagious nature of leprosy. As we look at some of the people present at the dinner, we can imagine an atmosphere of love and thankfulness. They had learned and received so much from the Lord. Share any insights you might have of the actions and attitudes of the following:
2) Mary anointed the head (Mark 14:3) and the feet (John 12:3) of Jesus with the costly, fragrant oil. The value, 300 denarii, was approximately a year's wage for a farm worker. Often wealthy families kept a box of such oil for each family member to be used to prepare the body for burial. Lazarus' box had been used. Mary chooses to use hers for Jesus instead of saving it for herself. Choose one of the main characters, Mary, Jesus, or Judas. Describe this event from their perspective, as if in their own words.
3) Mary's act of worship is an example to us. It did not matter the cost in pride, self or possessions. She set aside the other "good" uses of the precious oil to pursue the "eternal value." Our life is the most precious commodity we possess. We also have the choice in the way we will "pour it out." Prayerfully ponder and share how the following scriptures encourage an upward call to live your life poured out for Christ.
A. II Corinthians 2:14-15
B. Colossians 3:1-2
C. Romans 12:1-2
This one life will soon be past, only what is done for Christ will last.
4) Read John 12:9-11. Some of the people responded to Jesus by believing. But the chief priests were jealous. The desire to kill and destroy was the result. Jealousy has deadly power. Quite often, the most damage is in the life of the one with envy in their heart. Contrast the destructive with the edifying attitudes and actions in these passages.
A. Galatians 5:19-26
B. James 3:13-18
Envy shoots at others and wounds herself
1) Luke 19:29-38 describes the same event as John 12:12-18. Read both accounts. We commemorate this as Palm Sunday. The crowds came out to honor Jesus as "King of Israel." Truthfully, many would rather that their king come riding a chariot, wearing a rich crown and leading a fierce army to deliver them from Roman rule. They had hoped He would establish His kingdom on the earth.
A. What do you think His riding on a young colt signified?
B. So often, we also long for external victory. As you ponder this contrast, read from the Old Testament prophecy, Zechariah 9:9-10. Describe how His lowly entry means more to you personally than the conquering of empires.
Read Luke 19:39-41
2) The Pharisees would have stifled the praise of the people.
A. What are some things or people in your life that would hinder you from boldly proclaiming His praises? (This is a personal question. Share only if you feel comfortable.)
B. Share the elements of Psalm 100 that encourage you to praise.
C. *A pause for praise* Praise flows from a thankful heart. Prayerfully list some of the many things you have to thank the Lord for. Spend some time right now welcoming His entrance into your life as King and praising Him for all His goodness in your life.
Read John 12:20-50. Record the important who, what, when, where, why and how. Title this second portion of chapter 12.
Day #5 WE WISH TO SEE JESUS
1) In John 12:20-22, we learn of some Greeks who came to worship. They must have been drawn to the Living God of the Jews in contrast to the idols which their own people served. These Greeks sought the next step toward God, a desire to meet Jesus. In this we get another glimpse of the fact that even though Jesus came first to the nation of Israel, He would also include us who are not Jews into "the family of God." Describe what you learn from the following passages:
A. John 10:16 (review)
B. Ephesians 2:17-19
C. Acts 10
2) Read John 12:23-26. Jesus said "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified" John 12:23. The cross was just days away. He was saying that the time had come for Him to manifest all the love He had for us by dying in our place. This was true glory to Him. In verses 24-26, He explained how giving up all results in "much fruit." Let's look carefully at the very important lessons in this section.
A. Describe all that happens after a wheat seed is planted in the earth. Really think about this in order to come up with as many things as you can.
B. Jesus was teaching an important concept in verse 24. Explain the spiritual applications you learn from what happens to a physical seed that has been planted as it relates to His lesson.
C. Share how loving your life can result in the loss of life that Jesus meant in verse 25.
D. Explain how "much fruit" could be the result in your life as you follow Jesus' example and seek to live John 12:24-25 personally. Ponder this before you answer, then give practical applications.
E. Carefully read John 12:26. Share what this verse means to you.
*Quote* Jim Elliot, the bold missionary who died on the mission field in his efforts to reach the lost said: "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
3) Write out John 12:24 on a 3x5 card. Commit this challenging and inspiring verse to memory. Pray that you will be able to share it with someone else this week. Most of all, pray that you will be able to live it in some specific way this week.
4) John 12:27 gives us insight into the agony of soul Jesus experienced as He anticipated the cross. Read this verse carefully along with verse 28.
A. Was He asking God to deliver Him? Explain your answer.
B. Share the additional understanding you gain from Hebrews 12:2.
FAITHFUL STUDENT: Please write out general lessons you feel we should learn from each of the sections below. This is the interpretation step of the inductive study method as described in lesson one. To understand the meaning of these passages, it is helpful to ask the following questions: What is being taught? What does it mean to us today? What can we learn or what example does it set for us? As you ponder the lessons, ask the Lord to guide you to draw out what He is seeking to teach and minister through these passages. You may choose to state either one or two lessons for each section.
Read John 12:28-33
Read John 12:34-41
Read John 12:42-50
*Application* Share three areas that the Lord has ministered, encouraged, exhorted, or convicted you personally through this week's lesson.
"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor." John 12:26
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you."
The Gospel of John, more than any other gospel, gives an intimate look at the final meal and hours Jesus spent with His disciples before His arrest. Knowing His time was short, He imparted to them instruction, warning, encouragement and comfort. He also demonstrated His love for them.
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Read John 13:1-20. Read these verses again, recording the important facts. Give a title to this section.
*Note* It is important to note that this "last supper" Jesus had with His inner circle of disciples was a feast to celebrate the beginning of Passover (Matthew 26:17-20).
1) REVIEW: Refer back to lesson #3, day #3. In that lesson, we studied the history and meaning of the Passover and the Passover lamb. Read the entire section of that lesson on page 3 of lesson #3. In question 5, you were asked how the Passover lamb is a picture (type) of what Jesus has done for us. Record your answer again. Add any additional insights you might have at this time.
2) Describe the significance of the Passover in God's timing as it relates to the timing of the Crucifixion of Christ.
3) From reading John 13, verses 1 and 3 we learn that Jesus definitely worked on "God's timetable" with an eternal perspective.
A. Where was He going?
B. Explain how this affected the way that Jesus lived and especially the things that He did.
C. We need to realize every day that we also have limited time, and our destiny is to someday go to be with the Father. Stop and pray right now that this view point will affect your day and week, in the things you do and the way you do them. Share any thoughts you have on this after you pray.
*Quote* "I thank thee, O Lord, that You have so set eternity within my heart that no earthly thing can ever satisfy me wholly." John Baillie (1741–1806)
DAY #3 CHRIST'S EXAMPLE
*Foot Washing* Foot washing was a very necessary part of every day life in Palestine. Most travel was done on foot. The roads were dusty and most people wore sandals without socks. A host would sometimes provide a servant to wash his guest's feet as they entered the home. At other times, a basin of water and towel were provided for each person to wash their own feet.
Read John 13:4-5
1) We can imagine the atmosphere of surprise and even uncomfortableness when their Lord prepared Himself and then commenced to perform this lowly task. If we knew we only had approximately 24 hours to live, we probably would want our loved ones to serve us.
A. Share what you learn from the fact that Jesus "having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end." John 13:1c
B. Explain how Jesus' actions illustrated and emphasized His teachings in John 12:24-25.
2) Read John 13:14-17 slowly and carefully.
A. Foot washing was the lowliest of duties. Jesus said, "I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you." How does His example speak to you? How can you model His actions in everyday life?
B. If we call ourselves Christ's servants and yet feel that many areas of service are below us, what does this say according to verse 16? Think about this. Describe your thoughts and insights.
C. Jesus said, "If you know these things, happy are you if you do them." Do you think this is true? Why?
"If anyone desires to be the greatest, the same shall be least of all,
and the servant of all." Mark 9:35
3) In following Jesus' example, we need to not only do the deeds of a servant, but we need to have the heart attitude that corresponds. Of course, this doesn't always come naturally. Share how the following scriptures encourage you.
A. Colossians 3:12-14 "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."
B. Ephesians 4:32 "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."
We can do great things for the Lord
If we are willing to do little things for others.
Read John 13:21-38. Record the important facts, the who, what, when, where, why, and how. Give a title to this section.
DAY #5 TWO MEN, TWO CHOICES, TWO DESTINIES
1) We read in John 13:2 that "Satan put it into the heart of Judas" to betray Jesus. Judas had all the advantages, teachings, and opportunities for friendship with Jesus that the other disciples had. But Judas made the choice to be only "a hearer of the word and not a doer." (James 1:22-24) Share what you learn from these scriptures that give you insight into the fact that Judas became a vessel of Satan by choice.
A. John 12:4-6
B. Mark 14:10-11 (this was done before the Passover)
C. How did the choices of Judas illustrate Romans 6:16?
D. John 13:18
E. John 13:27 and 30
2) Judas could have chosen to give up his old ways and become a true disciple. Share how the truths expressed in Romans 6:17-18 and 22 have changed your life and given you a new Master.
3) The perfect contrast to Judas! John the apostle, whom God used to write this gospel, describes himself in John 13:23. The title that was most important to him and that described his identity was "the disciple whom Jesus loved." This speaks volumes. Prayerfully ponder and share what you learn from this and how you can apply this to your life.
"Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples,
whom Jesus loved." John 13:23
Day #6 A NEW COMMANDMENT, LOVE ONE ANOTHER
*Quote* "The word love is used only twelve times in John 1-12, but in John 13-21 it is used 44 times! It is a key word in Christ's farewell sermon to His disciples as well as His High Priestly Prayer (John 17). The word new does not mean "new in time," because love has been important to God's people even from Old Testament times. It means "new in experience, fresh." It is the opposite of "worn out." Love would take on a new meaning and power because of the death of Christ on the cross. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, love would have a new power in their lives." Warren W. Wiersbe
1) Read John 13:34-35. Notice that Jesus gave a command to us, not a suggestion, "to love one another as He loved us."
A. We're to love as we are loved by Him. Describe all the ways that Jesus has loved you.
B. If we love one another in this "Jesus way," what will others know about us? Why is this true? Explain the effect of seeing this love in action.
C. Can you share an example when you have seen or experienced a Christian putting Christ's love in action?
*Quote* Love is the one ingredient of which our world never tires and of which there is never an abundance. It is needed in the marketplace and in the mansions. It is needed in the ghettos and in the governments. It is needed in homes, in hospitals, and in individual hearts. The world will never outgrow its need for love. C. Neil Strait
D. I Corinthians 13:4-8a gives us a description of the type of love this world so desperately needs. We can not fulfill this in our own strength. But Christ can love through us as He dwells in us. Will you allow Him? Prayerfully read these verses, pausing and asking the Lord to expand your capacity to love in the areas you see you need to grow.
*Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
*Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
*Love does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
*Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
*Love never fails.
2) Share three personal lessons, exhortations, or encouragements you have gained from this lesson.
**MEMORY VERSE** Commit this precious commandment to memory. Try to share it at least once with someone else this week. This helps you to remember it. Try to obey it, specifically, at least once this week. This helps it become part of your life!
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." John 13:34
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you." John 14:18
The disciples must have been completely bewildered, discouraged and fearful for the future. Jesus had just told them:
1) One of the twelve was a traitor (John 13:21)
2) Peter, the strong one, would deny Him (John 13:38)
3) Satan was working against them (Luke 22:31)
4) All the disciples would fall away (Matt. 26:31)
5) He would leave them (John 13:33)
6) He would die (John 12:32-33)
When we face trials and failure, it is easy for despair to overwhelm us. When someone we love leaves us, we feel a sense of loss and loneliness. Jesus understood that. He wanted to prepare His disciples by comforting them and giving them hope in the fact that the separation was to be only temporary. This same knowledge must become a reality to us also. When it does, our burdens become lighter, and our priorities will adjust to reflect our future blessed hope.
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Read John, chapter 14 all the way through. Go back and read verses 1 through 15. Record the important facts. Give a brief title to this section.
1) Read John 14:1.
A. Describe what it is like to have a "troubled heart."
B. What is the opposite state of mind and heart from that of a "troubled heart?"
C. In verse 1, what did Jesus say was the antidote to having a "troubled heart?"
D. How can a firm trust in God the Father and Jesus the Son relieve fear and soul-sorrow? Also explain how faith can sustain us as we face tests and trials.
2) Read the following scriptures. What do you learn that can help you develop a state of calm, comforting confidence in God? First state the general lesson you learn from each scripture, then share the effect that the lesson can have on your own personal life.
A. II Corinthians 1:3-4
B. Isaiah 26:3
C. Psalm 55:17-18
3) Read John 14:2 carefully. Read it again, prayerfully. Describe what you picture as you read this verse.
4) In verse 3, Jesus tells us that He will "come again." These words were meant to encourage. They also engrave in our hearts and lives the reality of His Future Kingdom in contrast to the temporary world in which we now live. Share how the following scriptures direct you to live with an expectancy of His return.
A. Titus 2:12-14
B. I Thessalonians 3:12-13
5) The joyful aspect of His return is that He will "receive us to Himself." We will never again feel a distance or separation from our loving God. Share from your heart as you ponder His never ending presence as described in John 14:3b and Revelation 21:3-4.
DAY #3 Read John 14:4-7
1) Many people ponder the deep questions of the meaning of life: Where did I come from? Where am I going? What is truth? How do I find God? These questions have been asked by people for thousands of years. In John 14:6, Jesus gives the answer. How would you use this verse to share with a non Christian that Jesus is the answer? Use other scriptures from the Gospel of John to support your answer, if you have time.
"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
2) Notice in John 14:6, Jesus uses the word "the" instead of just "a" way. This upsets some people. They accuse Christians of being narrow. But their argument is not with Christians, but with Christ Himself. What do you learn from the following?
Results of Man's Way
Results of God's Way
A. Proverbs 14:12
A. John 3:16
B. Matthew 7:13
B. John 10:9
C. John 3:20
C. John 1:12
DAY #4 Read John 14:7-15
1) Read John 14:7-9 again. Philip expressed a desire we have all had at some time. We would like to actually physically see God.
A. What was Jesus' response?
B. Physical sight is not the only way we can "see." Insight and understanding are internal and spiritual ways of "seeing." How can learning about Jesus enable us to spiritually "see and know" God?
C. As we learn about Jesus, what do we "see" (understand) about God?
2) Read John 14:10-12. God the Father accomplished great works here on earth through Jesus.
A. What does God intend to do through us? (verse 12)
B. How is "belief in Jesus" necessary to do His works?
3) As we serve the Lord, we need to be constantly aware that prayer is a vital element. Read John 14:13-14.
A. In John 14:13b, what is the primary goal that Jesus desires to be accomplished from our prayers?
B. Explain how I John 5:14 clarifies guaranteed answered prayer as stated in John 14:14.
4) Combine the truths of John 13:34-35 and John 14:15 to show how we demonstrate that we love God.
Read John 14:16-31. Record the important facts. Give a title to this section.
1) Read John 14:16-18 and John 14:26.
A. What are all the things that you learn about the Holy Spirit from these verses?
B. Describe how you personally benefit from the Holy Spirit's presence as you ponder what you have just learned.
C. The Bible instructs us "do not quench (suppress, subdue, smother) the Holy Spirit," I Thessalonians 5:19. How do you sometimes limit or hinder His ability to work in your life?
2) List the promises and wonderful truths given to us in John 14:19-21.
3) "My heart-Christ's home!" What a wonderful promise is stated in John 14:23.
A. What are the conditions of His abiding presence in your life?
B. Share the benefits and blessing of Jesus dwelling in your heart and life.
4) In the beginning of chapter 14, Jesus encouraged His disciples and us not to be troubled.
A. From reading John 14:27, what does He leave us to replace anxiousness? How can He do that?
B. Describe how God's peace can be present regardless of our circumstances. Is this true in your life? Why or Why not?
C. Jesus said that the peace He gives is different from what the world offers. Pause and prayerfully ponder this. Then share what you learn as you would share with someone who is in a state of turmoil. Allow those truths to sink deeply into your own heart.
Salvation is not something we achieve, it is something we receive.
"The storm was raging. The sea was beating against the rocks in huge, dashing waves. The lightning was flashing, the thunder was roaring, the wind was blowing; but the little bird was sound asleep in the crevice of the rock, its head tucked serenely under its wing. That is peace: to be able to sleep in the storm!
In Christ we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of the confusions, bewilderments, and perplexities of this life. The storm rages, but our hearts are at rest. We have found peace—at last!" - Billy Graham
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
In the 15th chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus instructs His disciples on three important relationships. He teaches that we as disciples are to be vitally related to Him (verses 1-10), lovingly related to each other (verses 11-17), and witnesses to the lost (verses 26-27).
He begins by stating, "I am the vine." This is the last of the seven great "I am" statements in the Gospel of John.
Jesus' Seven "I AM's" in the Gospel of John
1. "I am the Bread of Life." (6:35)
2. "I am the Light of the World." (8:12)
3. "I am the Gate for the Sheep." (10:7)
4. "I am the Good Shepherd." (10:11)
5. "I am the Resurrection and the Life." (11:25)
6. "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life." (14:6)
7. "I am the True Vine." (15:1)
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Read John 15:1-17. Read through these verses again, carefully recording the important and basic facts. When you have finished, state the main theme briefly in seven words or less. Give a title to this section.
DAY #2 Read John 15:1-3 JESUS, THE TRUE VINE
1) Picture a grapevine with branches from which large, sweet clusters of grapes are growing. The stalk of the plant is called the vine, through which flows the living sap, nutrients and water. In your own words, explain what Jesus meant when He described Himself as a vine and us as branches.
2) In verse 1, Jesus describes Himself as the true vine.
A. Look up in the dictionary the words true and false. Write out definitions which show the contrast.
B. Explain why it is vital that we choose the true source of life--Jesus.
3) Wild vines normally yield small, sometimes dry and sour grapes. Those vines that are tended by a good farmer are much more productive. Our farmer (vinedresser, husbandman) is our loving Heavenly Father. List the many things that a farmer does to make the plants more healthy and fruitful. Apply these concepts to your spiritual life.
4) In John 15:2, Jesus tells us of the necessity of pruning for fruitfulness. Read the following explanation of the pruning process as described in The Sunset Gardening Book.
Pruning: Pruning is both a skill and an art. The skill is in making proper cuts that will heal well. The art is in making cuts in the right places so that the plant will develop its potential beauty or produce an optimum crop. No matter how much or how little pruning you do on an established plant, the objective is to modify the growth of the plant. The modification can be done for any of the following reasons, singly or in combination:
* to maintain plant health by removing dead, diseased or injured wood;
* to control or direct growth;
* to increase quality or yield of flowers or fruit.
Applying what you have learned about the pruning process, prayerfully ponder and answer the following questions:
A. What type of branches are pruned? What encouragement and insight do you gain from this?
B. Why does the Father prune us? As you read verse 2 again, answer the question "is pruning punishment?" Why do we sometimes feel like it is?
C. How does the Father prune us? Use an example.
D. What is the end result in our lives after we are pruned? If possible, explain by sharing a personal experience.
Those who see God's hand in everything
can best leave everything in God's hand.
DAY #3 Read John 15:4-8
In John 15, verses 4 and 5, Jesus gives us information and instruction that can totally transform our Christian lives if we take heed and obey. Carefully meditate on and respond to the following questions:
1) The word abide is used eleven times in verses 1-11 (King James Version), emphasizing the importance of this concept. Look up the meaning of abide in the dictionary. Then explain what abiding in Jesus and Jesus abiding in us means.
2) How can we truly abide? Explain in as much detail as possible.
3) Describe the results of abiding as they apply to your life? In your answer, contrast the results of not abiding.
4) Explain what bearing fruit unto the Lord means in your life. Also read Galatians 5:22-23.
5) So often in our Christian life, we try to accomplish service for the Lord or make changes in ourselves with our own strength and resources. We sometimes feel that we should be able to produce within ourselves the godly fruit we long for. This creates frustration and discouragement when we come short. The Lord admonishes us when He says "without Me, you can do nothing" (vs. 5). Our job is to abide in Him. He has every intention of doing the rest. Share how the following scriptures encourage you to learn to lean on and trust Him instead of yourself.
A. II Corinthians 4:7 "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."
B. II Corinthians 12:9-10 "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
C. Philippians 1:6 "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;"
6) In John 15:7, the disciples were given a promise of answered prayer.
A. What is the condition that this promise is based on as stated in John 15:7a?
B. How do you think abiding in Jesus and being full of His Word will affect the type of things that you desire and ask for in prayer?
C. Read I John 5:14, 15 and share the added insight and encouragement you gain.
D. We occasionally need an attitude check regarding the requests we make of God. What do you learn in James 4:3 regarding this?
*DIGGING DEEPER* (For those who would like to do additional study.)
In John 15:8, Jesus states that bearing fruit glorifies the Father. Find other scriptures in John that tell how God is glorified.
DAY #4 Read John 15:9-17 "ABIDE IN MY LOVE"
1) Describe how we are loved. (John 15:9)
The true measure of God's love
is that He loves without measure.
2) Read John 15:10-11. Often obedience and commandment are concepts that cause us to feel restricted or controlled. They sometimes cause a negative reaction.
A. Share how obedience can be a vehicle to blessing and freedom instead of bondage according to these verses.
B. God's greatest commandment: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27 How does disobedience to His commandments to love rob us of joy?
3) **MEMORY VERSE** Write out John 15:12 in the space below. Also print this verse on a 3x5 card to carry with you to practice until you have committed it to memory.
"When we love, the one who is loved changes.
So do we!" Carolyn Mitchem
4) Read John 15:12 once again. Share how you can apply it to someone you have had a difficult time loving. Stop and pray right now for the Lord's grace and ability to love. Remember what He told us, "without Me you can do nothing."
5) Read John 15:13-17. Can you say that Jesus is your best friend and constant companion? Would you like Him to be? Share what this does or can mean in your life.
Read John 15:18-27. Read these verses again, recording the important facts. When you have finished, state the main theme briefly in seven words or less. Give a title to this section.
Read John 15:18-27
1) Why will we sometimes be rejected and persecuted when we faithfully share God's truth and love?
2) Read John 15:22-25. Why was Jesus persecuted and rejected then and even now? You may use other scriptures from John to support your answer.
3) Jesus informed His disciples that the Holy Spirit, also called the Spirit of Truth and Counselor, would soon come to dwell in them. At this point, they had never experienced this. We are blessed that we have access to His power and ongoing presence in our lives.
A. What do you learn about the Holy Spirit from the following verses?
1. John 15:26
2. Acts 1:8
B. How can the work of the Holy Spirit in your life help and change you if you allow Him control?
5) *Application* Review this lesson on the wonderful 15th chapter of the Gospel of John. Share three things that you desire to apply to your life.
"In chapter 15, Jesus is the living vine, and we the branches. So the Christian is one whose roots are in Heaven, but the branches fall down to the earth, and from the branches, fruit is provided." H.A. Ironside
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you." John 16:7
In our last lesson, we read in John 15:18-25 that Jesus openly warned His disciples that persecution would come. Remember, He knew that in just a few hours soldiers would come and take Him, beat and mock Him and then hang Him on a cruel cross. He used these last few hours before His departure to warn them and thus prepare them for what lay ahead.
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Read John 16:1-15. Read through again, recording the important facts. Remember, you may want to state some facts by grouping several verses together. In seven words or less, state the main theme or topic. Give a title to this section.
DAYS #2 and #3
1) Jesus warned "If the world hates you, you will know that it hated Me before it hated you." John 15:18 The term "the world" is used in scripture several different ways. Sometimes it refers to the physical world created by God. Other times it refers to the world of humanity ("for God so loved the world" John 3:16). But in John 16, the world refers to the world system which is opposed to and in rebellion to God. Review John 15:18-25 along with John 16:1-4. What stands out to you as important to remember and why?
2) How can the knowledge that we should expect persecution help us to avoid stumbling when it comes into our lives (John 16:1)?
3) We as Christians live in this present world, but we are not to be influenced by the standards we see practiced around us. What do you learn from the following scriptures about how we are to live in relation to the "world system?" How can you apply them to your own life?
A. I John 2:15-17 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."
B. Romans 12:2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
C. Philippians 3:13-14 "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
4) In John 16:2-3, we learn that those who attack God's work and people sometimes feel they are doing God a service.
A. What does Jesus have to say about these people in verse 3?
B. There was a man named Saul who was zealous for God but didn't know Him. From Acts 8:3 and Acts 9:1-20 describe what impresses you about what happened to this man who persecuted the church.
5) What comfort and encouragement do you find in Matthew 5:10-12? Along with the comfort, explain what instruction you see on how we as Christians are to respond to persecution?
A. Comfort and Encouragement:
DAY #4 Read John 16:5-15 THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
1) Jesus' timing is always perfect. He chose to introduce to His disciples the ministry of the Holy Spirit after He had informed them about troubles to come. Review day #6, question 3 of last week's lesson and explain how the Holy Spirit's in-filling power can make a difference in the effect that persecution will have on us.
2) We may think that it would have been easier to serve the Lord if we had actually lived during the time that Jesus was on the earth physically. How wonderful it would have been to walk by His side and listen to Him teach. But in John 16:7, Jesus says there is an advantage for Him to go away and no longer physically be with us. Explain what He meant and why you think this is true.
3) In John 16:8-11, we learn that the Holy Spirit has an additional ministry to fulfill in the world. He is the 'advocate' or helper of those who believe in Jesus. But in relation to the unbelieving, godless world, He acts as counsel for the prosecution. In verse 9, we discover the primary sin that the Spirit desires to convict the world of. What is it and why is it the greatest sin of all?
4) After reading John 16:12-15, describe three additional functions that the Spirit will fulfill in the life of the believer. Also share how these functions can benefit you personally.
DAY #5 Read John 16:16-33
Read through again and record the important facts. State in seven words or less what you see as the main theme. State a brief title.
DAY #6 SORROW TURNED TO JOY
1) Hope is a very important part of life. Without hope it is very difficult to endure the challenging times.
A. What is taught in John 16:16-22 about the promise that joy would follow sorrow?
B. Isaiah 61:1-3 is a prophecy of the coming of Christ. "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." How does this minister and encourage you personally? How can you apply this concept to a hard situation in your life now?
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:12
Read John 16:23-27
2) In last week's lesson, we learned that 'abiding in Jesus' is an important condition for answered prayer. Our deep dependent relationship with Him will affect the things that we desire and therefore ask for in prayer. When we are communing daily and close to the Savior, we start to desire the same things that He desires. Some people use John 16:23-24 as a sure fire formula for successful prayers, no matter what the request. They feel that as long as they ask 'in Jesus' name they can ask for riches, fame or perfect health and God is required to give it.
A. What do you think Jesus really meant when He instructed us to pray in the name (authority) of Jesus?
B. Reviewing again the context in which this promise is made, what kind of requests will we be making of the Father?
C. Pause and pray now, making requests that reflect what the Lord has spoken to your heart about in this lesson. Pray to your Father who loves you in the name of Jesus our Lord.
"Prayer is not a monologue, but a dialogue;
God's voice in response to mine is its most
essential part. Listening to God's voice is the
secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine."
3) Often times we neglect the great privilege that we have to go before God's throne to ask for the help for ourselves and others. "Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full." Share the encouragement you receive and additional things you learn about prayer as you ponder the following:
A. Matthew 6:6 ""But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
B. Luke 11:9-13 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
C. Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,"
4) Read John 16:26-27. How do you think the knowledge that the Father loves us should affect your prayers?
5) Jesus knew that in just a few hours His friends would desert Him in His greatest time of need. What do you learn from John 16:32 that will help when you feel alone?
6) Our defeats in this world are temporary. It has been said that "we realize the strength of the anchor when we feel the stress of the storm." Share how Jesus' comforting words in verse 33 and in this entire chapter give you courage and hope that our victory is sure.
"Be of good cheer I have overcome the world." John 16:33
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." John 17:20, 21
Jesus has finished His private instruction to His disciples (chapters 13-16). He now turns to His Father in prayer. This prayer in John 17 has been called "the Lord's high-priestly prayer." He prayed first for Himself (verses 1-5). Then He prays for His apostles (verses 6-19), and finally for future believers (verses 20-26).
Following the example of our Lord, pause now to pray that the Father will use this time to help us to draw close to Him.
Read John 17:1-19. Read through again, recording the important facts. In seven words or less, record the main theme that you find in this section. Then write a short title.
DAY #2 Read John 17:1-5 JESUS' PRAYER AND REQUESTS FOR HIMSELF
1) In John 17:1-2, Jesus prays, "The hour has come."
A. The cross is just hours away. In His prayer, Jesus looks up to the Father. How could this focus give Him perfect confidence to look forward to all that lay ahead?
B. Jesus sees in the cross redemption. He sees beyond the cross, to the resurrection and return to His previous Glory. How does this glorify the Father? *Optional* Look up the word glorify in a Bible dictionary.
2) In John 17:3, Jesus gives the true definition of eternal life. Often we focus on the adjective eternal and think about length of life. Here we learn that it is far more. Share what the quality of eternal life means to you as described in these verses:
A. John 17:3
B. Revelation 21:3-4
C. Revelation 22:3-5
3) Deeply ponder the words of Jesus in John 17:4. They sum up His life goals. Write them in the space below.
A. *Personal* Could you say that these are the goals that direct your day and, therefore, your life? Why or why not?
B. What is the work that the Lord has given you to do? If you don't know, pause and ask Him!
C. How can your life (in spite of imperfections and failures) glorify God here on earth? Explain.
DAY #3 Read John 17:6-13 JESUS' INTERCESSION FOR THE APOSTLES
1) In this section, Jesus prays for His own, His disciples. It is important to constantly be aware of the fact that Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). Carefully read the following verses and explain what Jesus does, His role and actions. Share how this should encourage you personally.
A. Romans 8:33-34 "Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us."
B. Hebrews 7:24-26 "But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."
2) The world, as a whole, has failed to recognize Jesus as the One through Whom we are to know and come to God.
A. How did His disciples show themselves to be truly "His own people" as described by Jesus in John 17:6-8?
B. What does it mean to receive and keep His Word? What does it mean in your life?
3) *Optional Challenge* Read John 17:6-13. As you have done this lesson, you have responded to pre-written questions. To practice the second step of the inductive Bible study method, interpretation, write out two questions you feel would draw out lessons from this section. Then answer the questions.
1) Read John 17:14-16. Jesus said that we are "not of the world" just as He is not of the world. Why do you think that the Lord doesn't just take us to heaven the moment we become Christians?
2) His prayer is that we are to be protected from the evil one. Satan is also rightly called our adversary. We are to be aware of his ways, "lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." (II Corinthians 2:11) Record some of the ways Satan operates as stated in the following verses, giving illustrations, if possible.
A. Luke 22:31
B. II Corinthians 11:13-15
C. I Thessalonians 2:18
3) How can we deal with Satan?
A. Matthew 4:10
B. I Peter 5:8
C. James 4:7-8
4) Our greatest comfort and defense against Satan is to know that Jesus has prayed for us and is also now praying that the Father will "keep us."
A. Write out I John 4:4. Read it over slowly, absorbing the strength and comfort these words can provide for us.
B. Look up the word keep. Describe what it means and how it is that the Lord keeps us.
5) Notice carefully that Jesus says in John 17:18 that we have been sent into the world as the Father sent Him into the world. The word as is important. We have a mission and purpose. We don't have to go across the world to be a missionary.
A. Look up the word mission in the dictionary and write out the definitions you feel apply to the fact that Jesus said we have been "sent into the world."
B. What is our mission? If possible, use scripture to support your answer.
C. Could it be possible for a Christian to not have a mission? Why or why not?
6) Read John 17:17-18.
A. Look up and define the word "sanctify."
B. How are we to be sanctified?
C. Why is it important that we be sanctified for our mission in this world to be effective?
Read John 17:20-26. This is a very precious portion of Jesus' prayer. Read through again, recording the important facts. Write a short title.
DAY #6 JESUS' PRAYER FOR US, FUTURE BELIEVERS
1) Consider. One of Jesus' final requests here on earth was for unity among His own. A divided and bickering church is a shame to us all. These divisions also grieve the heart of our Lord.
A. Does Jesus mean that all churches should work side by side and never deal with doctrinal heresy or unscriptural practices? Why or why not? If possible, use scripture to support your answer.
B. What are we as believers to be united in and committed to?
2) The church (which is comprised of people, not a building) is also described as Christ's Body. Read I Corinthians 12:13-26. What do you learn about the following?
3) Problems are created within the Church when we don't set aside our own self interests for each other. Unity always needs to start with us first! Explain what you learn from the following scripture, sharing how the principals apply to you personally.
Philippians 2:3-5 "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,"
4) Share what blesses you as you read how Jesus finishes His prayer for us in John 17:24-26.
5) Prayerfully ponder and record two lessons you have learned in this chapter that you desire to apply to your life.
*Application* May our Heart's desire and life's goal to be to say to the Father as Jesus did:
"I have glorified You on the earth.
I have finished the work which You have given Me to do."
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?" John 18:11b
As we begin our lesson this week, let us realize the intensity and holiness of our Savior as He willingly moves forward to the cross. We are in a sense entering "Holy Ground."
In this final section, we will see the worst in man. In contrast, we will also see the best, absolute commitment of love in Jesus. He allowed nothing to deter His obedience to His Father's will. The price for the redemption of sinful mankind had to be paid. Jesus was the sinless Passover lamb.
Take a moment before you begin this lesson to pray and ask the Lord to help you understand His Word with your heart, soul and mind. And may this understanding draw you ever closer to Him and His great love.
Read John 18:1-27. Read through again, looking for and recording the important facts. Who, what, when, where, and how are always the important factors to determine. Then, in seven words or less, state the main theme and give a short title to this section.
DAY #2 Read John 18:1-11 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
The Garden of Gethsemane
Jesus went with His disciples to a garden just east of Jerusalem called Gethsemane. They had often gone there together, no doubt to rest, meditate and pray. Jerusalem was filled with Jewish pilgrims who had come from all over Israel to celebrate the Passover. It seems appropriate that He would want to leave the crowded, noisy city for time in prayer to the Father.
*Helpful Hint* There will be frequent references to Matthew, chapters 26 and 27 in this lesson. It might be helpful to place a bookmark in that section for quick reference.
1) The Gospel of John does not give us information about the time of prayer traditionally called "agony in the garden." After reading the accounts recorded in Matthew 26:36-44 and Luke 22:40-46, share the insights and the possible lessons you see regarding the following:
A. Jesus' emotional struggle of will
B. The sleeping disciples
C. The comfort of the angel
2) Judas led the way to the garden. It was probably quite dark. Read Matthew 26:47 and John 18:3, which describe the group coming up the hill to arrest Jesus. The detachment of troops sent to arrest Jesus was also know as a cohort in the Roman army. A cohort consisted of up to 600 men. Picture the torches and weapons. Picture the faces of the Chief Priests and Pharisees.
A. Why do you think they felt it necessary to be so heavily armed to arrest Jesus? Notice in verse 12 that they bound Him.
B. Why do you think they fell back when Jesus said "I am He"?
C. Read Matthew 26:52-54. (A legion numbered approximately 6,000.) Share the insights you gain as you ponder who was really out numbered.
3) Read John 18:10 with Luke 22:50-51.
A. Explain why you think Peter reacted as he did?
B. Why do you think Jesus took the time to heal the servant's ear at a time when His life was being threatened? What insights do you gain from this that minister to you?
The events which unfold in verses 12 through 27 are like a drama played out on two stages. The action shifts back and forth between the preliminary investigation of Jesus before the religious leaders and Peter's denial.
1) Peter was a classic example of Jesus' statement "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41b) The Bible often allows us to see the imperfections of God's people so we can learn from their mistakes. It also reveals that, even though we do make mistakes, God is patient with us. Trace Peter's ups and downs in the following verses. Then comment on what you learn.
A. Matthew 16:15-17
B. Matthew 16:21-23
C. Matthew 26:33-35
D. Matthew 26:58
E. Matthew 26:75
There are none so good that they can save themselves-
and none so bad that God cannot save them.
The Unjust Trials of The Just Son of God
Jesus was interrogated six times. The first three occurred during the night. By the time He was taken to the Roman authorities, it was the morning of the following day. Not all of the trials are covered in the Gospel of John. The chart below gives you the verses to read later to trace the entire grueling ordeal.
The Six Trials of Jesus
Before Annas John 18:12-14
Before Caiaphas Matthew 26:57-68
Before the Sanhedrin Matthew 27:1-2
Before Pilate John 18:28-38
Before Herod Luke 23:6-12
Before Pilate again John 18:39-19:6
The first interrogation after Jesus' arrest was before Annas, who was the father-in-law of the high priest Caiaphas. Annas had previously been high priest. But even after his removal, it appears the he still retained great influence as the senior ex-high priest. It is most likely that his family ran the commercial businesses of selling sacrifice animals within the temple courts.
Afterward, He was sent before Caiaphas, and then before the Jewish governing body, the Sanhedrin.
2) After reading John 18:19 and Matthew 26:59, 60 summarize the true intent of the hearings.
3) Jesus was totally silent as the unjust proceedings continued. Finally, Caiaphas asked the one crucial question, "are You the Christ, the Son of God?" Explain what followed. Add any insights you gain.
A. Jesus' answer (Matthew 26:64)
B. The response to the truth (Matthew 26:65-68)
"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." John 3:19, 20
Read John 18:28-40. Read through again and record the important facts. Then give a short title to this section.
1) Peter denied the Lord in a time of weakness. Judas betrayed the Lord. There is a very big difference. To betray is to "deliver over treacherously." Share what you learn about Judas in the following verses:
A. His character: (John 12:4-6)
B. The plot: (Matthew 26:14-16)
C. The betrayal: (Matthew 26:48-50)
D. His remorse: (Matthew 27:3-8)
E. Summary: Using what you learn in II Corinthians 7:9, 10, explain the difference between Peter's response and that of Judas.
2) Pilate was a man caught in a very challenging situation. As the governor appointed by Rome, it was his job to keep political harmony within the nation. And yet it appears he realized that Jesus was no ordinary man. Share what impressed Pilate as he observed Jesus in Matthew 27:11-14.
3) Explain what Jesus says to Pilate in John 18:36.
A. Explain in your own words what He meant and how this affects us as Christians?
In the 18th chapter of the Gospel of John, we see many people under pressure. Peter drew a sword and then later denied the Lord. The disciples fled. Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. The Jewish leaders press for the death sentence. Pilate struggles between his conscience and being politically correct. And then there was our Lord Jesus!
"He was oppressed and He was afflicted and yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, as a sheep before her shearers..." Isaiah 53:7
1) Jesus experienced great agony in the garden. He endured false accusations in unfair hearings and even physical abuse. However, in Hebrews 12:2, we are encouraged to "look unto Jesus....who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross."
A. Can you explain how He could experience both agony and joy?
B. How can you apply His example to your own life?
2) It is important that we don't move on from this chapter without allowing the Lord to use it to change our lives. Prayerfully ponder and list three lessons, exhortations, or encouragement you feel that the Lord would have you to apply to your life.
Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:16
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friend."
Jesus had taught His disciples about love. He had commanded them to love in John 15:12. Now He is going to show them the extreme depth of His love. To understand this most awesome chapter, we must seek to fathom and be affected by what that love means to us personally. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us" I John 3:1. "But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8.
As we read the 19th chapter of John, we will be overwhelmed by the extreme cruelty and hatred of man. In contrast, may we be more overwhelmed by the extreme love and commitment of our Savior Jesus for us. As an innocent man, He deserved none of the punishment He endured. We must personalize every detail of the pain He endured, but not so that we will be depressed or feel guilty. The fact is we were guilty, that's why He had to pay the penalty for us. In every action of Jesus, we must see and try to comprehend His great love for us. Let that truth sink deeply into your heart, soul and mind. No one pays more for anything than they feel it is worth. We have great value to God. He paid the highest possible price.
"For God so loved the world (you and me) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Read John 19:1-16. Read through this portion of scripture, carefully recording the important facts. Give a short title to this section.
DAYS #2 and #3
1) Read John 19:1-3 and Mark 15:16-19. The scourging spoken of in verse 1 "was a murderous form of torture; the whips with which it was carried out were reinforced with sharp pieces of metal or bone which left the victim's body a bloody pulp, and it is not surprising that this treatment was sometimes sufficient in itself to cause death." F.F. Bruce Describe the emotions you feel as you ponder the actions of the soldiers.
2) The following scriptures foretold of Christ's suffering. Describe what you learn from each. Also share any personal insight.
A. Isaiah 53:5-6 "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
B. Isaiah 53:10-11 "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities."
3) In John 19:4-6, Pilate again expressed the fact that he found "no guilt in Jesus." It is probable that he was seeking a compromise with the crowd when he brought Him before them as an abused, ridiculed figure. He may have hoped that they would be satisfied when they saw He had suffered to such a degree. And yet, they were not satisfied.
A. Describe the response of the chief priests and officers.
B. Share what Proverbs 27:4 states and how it relates to what Pilate knew to be the true motive for their hatred of Jesus as revealed in Matthew 27:18.
4) Pilate was further torn when his wife came with an alarming message. Explain what you learn in Matthew 27:19.
"Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17
5) The Jews came forward with their accusation, "He made Himself the Son of God."
A. Why do you think these words brought fear to Pilate's heart?
B. Record the additional insights you gain as you read the conversation between Jesus and Pilate in John 19:9-12.
6) The exchange back and forth between Pilate and the Jewish leadership in verses 12-16 involved the issue of which King would be chosen. Who would the Jews choose to rule, not only over their nation, but over their personal lives? Things aren't any different today. Record how the following apply to you personally:
A. Joshua 24:15
B. Luke 16:13
C. Have you yielded every area of your life to the Lord who cares so much for you? Can you still doubt that He wants the best for you and His Lordship is one of goodness and love? Stop and pray before your King, asking Him to rule and have complete dominion.
Read John 19:17-37 (we will study verses 38-42 on day 6). Record the important facts, being careful not to include the details. Focus on the main facts. State a title.
DAY #5 GOLGOTHA
Jesus was led, in His weakened condition, carrying the extremely heavy cross to a place called Golgotha (the place of the skull) outside the city wall of Jerusalem. The site many believe to be Golgotha is a 45 foot high rock that stands near the road. Normally crucifixions were held in a public place, near a busy thoroughfare. The authorities wanted many to see the condemned as a warning to others.
1) In John 19:18, we learn that Jesus was crucified between two others. Several gospels state that these others were criminals. In His life, He had sought out the lost, the hurting and sinners. God's plan included that His precious Son would endure a sinner's death, in the midst of sinners to the end. Read Mark 15:27-28 and Luke 23:39-43 and share your impressions.
"We owed a debt we could not pay,
He paid a debt He did not owe."
2) Pilate, who had just witnessed this amazing man Jesus go through extreme circumstances, felt compelled to write "King of the Jews" above His cross. The leaders objected, they rejected His leadership, His lordship. And yet the truth remains. All will someday realize that Jesus is the "Lord of lords and King of kings." Explain what you learn in the following scriptures:
A. Romans 14:11-12 "For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."
B. Philippians 2:9-11 "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
C. Hebrews 1:8 "But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.'"
3) Read John 19:28-30. The key words in these verses are: accomplished, fulfilled, and finished (New King James Version). If possible, look them up in a dictionary or Bible dictionary.
A. What do these words mean in relationship to Jesus and the Father?
B. How does the accomplished, fulfilled, finished will and work of the Father done by Jesus affect us? *Optional* You may quote other scriptures that give additional insight if desired.
4) The atmosphere and occurrences at the death of Jesus were powerful and meaningful. Record your thoughts and insights as you read the record of Matthew 27:50-54 and Luke 23:44-48.
DAY #6 THE BURIAL OF JESUS
Read John 19:38-42 along with Mark 15:43 and Luke 23:50-55.
1) Record all you learn about the different people who came forward to attend to the body of Jesus. You may add additional information you've learned about them previously if you have time. Also think about and record what you feel is important about their actions.
A. Joseph of Arimathea
C. The women (Mary Magdalene and another Mary)
2) This is the most sobering of all chapters in the wonderful Gospel of John. And yet, because of Jesus' obedience and love, it offers us hope and peace. We learn that the debt has been paid in full for our sin by His precious blood. Prayerfully ponder the following and share how they personally apply to you.
A. Psalm 103:11-12
B. Colossians 1:13-14
C. I Peter 1:18-19
"Amazing grace, how could it be that thou my God did die for me?"
3) As we reflect on the sacrifice of love which our Lord made for us, we can't help but be affected. Share how the Lord has spoken to you this week through this study.
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
The Empty Tomb, Tragedy To Triumph.
Victory over death is the glorious message we will study this week. In the 20th chapter of John's Gospel, John gives his testimony of how he came to personal faith in the resurrection as he encounters and considers the evidence he found in the empty tomb.
Confidence in the resurrection of Jesus is fundamental to us as believers today also. As Paul the apostle stated, "If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep [physically died] in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable." I Corinthians 15:17-19. Paul then emphatically says, "But now Christ is risen from the dead," I Corinthians 15:20. Belief in this wonderful truth gives us assurance of these things:
Eternal Life: Jesus told us, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" (John 11:25).
Hope: Our earthly life is not all there is. We have a far better life awaiting us beyond the grave. Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2). The resurrection of Christ provides the basis for that hope. He was the first, and we who believe will follow. "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep" (I Corinthians 15:20).
Comfort: Because of this we do not have the same fear or dread of death as unbelievers. "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O hell, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Corinthians 15:54-57).
Abundant Life: Because we as believers have hope for the future and are released from fear of death, we can live in the present with freedom and an eternal perspective. Our Good Shepherd, Jesus, assures us, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10). The risen Christ is the proof that He has the power to offer us this life. "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1)
Let us, like John and the others in this chapter, seriously ponder the facts and evidence of the empty tomb. And then let us allow those truths to transform our lives as they did theirs.
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Read John 20:1-18. Read through again, recording the important facts. Briefly state a title for this section.
DAY #2 A THANKFUL LIFE
Mary Magdalene is a heartwarming example of thankful living.
Mary Magdalene was an early follower of Jesus who traveled with the disciples and ministered to their needs out of her own resources. Jesus had freed her from the bondage of demon possession (Luke 8:1-2). We see in her life a response of thankfulness and commitment. In her appreciation for the freedom Christ had given her, she didn't care what others thought, she was not afraid to follow Jesus to the cross. She wasn't afraid to follow Joseph of Arimathea as he laid Jesus in the tomb. She rose while it was still dark the next morning to serve again, to anoint the body of Jesus with fragrant oils and spices.
Let us put ourselves in Mary's and the other disciple's places, pondering the thrilling truth they were about to experience.
1) In John 20:1-2, we learn that Mary discovered the stone had been rolled away.
A. Record the precautions that were made to set the stone in place (Matthew 27:62-65).
B. Describe how the stone was moved (Matthew 28:2-4).
C. When Mary saw that Jesus' body was gone, what was her first conclusion?
The stone was rolled away from the door,
not to permit Christ to come out, but to enable the disciples to go in.
D. *Optional digging deeper* Record what you learn about the cover-up story that some still believe today as recorded in Matthew 28:11-15.
2) Read John 20:3-7. When Peter and John arrived at the tomb, they saw the empty grave clothes. It is interesting to note that myrrh was used by Joseph as an adhesive to wrap the linen cloth around the body. Myrrh dries as firmly as lead. Therefore, the body of the grave clothes must have looked like the shell of a cocoon. Explain how what they saw would have led them to a different conclusion than that a grave robber had stolen the body.
The power that opened Christ's tomb
Opens the door to the fullness of life
3) Read John 20:8-9. John had been the one disciple at the cross who had watched the forces of jealousy and evil seemingly triumph over Jesus. He had spent the night probably overwhelmed with despair. It must have appeared to him that darkness had won. But, in an instant, as he looked at the empty tomb and clothes, He knew his Lord was alive. Jesus had won! Therefore, we who believe have won also! Share how the truth of the resurrection can affect you today and the way you look at your life and circumstances.
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
1) Read John 20:11-16. Mary remained at the tomb.
A. Why do you think she looked again into the tomb? (verse 11)
B. Comment on Mary's reaction to seeing two angels. (verses 12-13)
C. Mary didn't recognize Jesus at first. Then He said her name! Share your thoughts on that moment. ( John 10:3-4 )
2) Share the blessing you receive as you ponder the fact that Mary was the first person Jesus revealed Himself to after the resurrection.
3) Read John 20:17-18. Mary's first reaction was probably to fall at Jesus' feet and wrap her arms around His ankles.
A. Why would He tell her not to cling to Him physically?
B. Explain how their relationship, and now ours, was enhanced when He ascended to the Father. Also review John 16:7.
C. Jesus told her "I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God" (John 20:17). Prayerfully consider and share the connection He was making by stating "our and His Father." How does this bless you?
4) Mary now knew that her Lord was alive. She now believed.
A. From John 20:17, what was the first thing Jesus told her to do with this truth?
B. Mary probably ran to go tell the others the Good News, "Jesus is alive!" This message is as true and as good as it was that Sunday morning, the first Easter! Stop and pray right now that the Lord will help you to daily remain as excited as Mary to share this great message.
*Quote* The Gospels do not explain the Resurrection; the Resurrection explains the Gospels. Belief in the Resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith; it is the Christian faith. John S. Whale
Read John 20:19-31. Read through again, recording the important facts: the who, what, when, where, why. Give a short title to this portion.
1) Carefully read John 20:19, picturing the scene as if you were present.
A. Describe the emotions and the different conversations that might have occurred between the disciples as they were gathered.
B. Why do you think that the first words Jesus said to them was "Peace be with you"?
C. From verses 19 and 20, we can learn information about the form and capabilities of the resurrected body of Jesus. If you study carefully, you will be able to learn at least three facts. State what you discover.
**Optional Digging Deeper** To gain more information about our future resurrected bodies, read I Corinthians 15:35-52. Share what you learn and also the hope you receive from this knowledge.
2) Jesus said "Peace to you." The peace we have in Christ is threefold, peace with God, the peace of God, and peace with each other. This peace is sorely lacking in the world around us. Prayerfully ponder, personalize, and share the insights you gain from the two or three of the following verses.
A. Romans 5:1
B. Philippians 4:6-7
C. Ephesians 4:2-3
D. Colossians 3:15
THE GREAT COMMISSION
Read John 20:21-23
3) Jesus said "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you" (John 20:21). Read Matthew 28:18-20 and discover more details about how and why we are sent.
A. Would you consider that these verses describe an optional activity for us as Christians? Why or why not? It is important that you explain your answer.
B. Do you think "go" means that we necessarily need to all go across the world or to a faraway place? Explain.
C. What does "go" mean to you personally? Prayerfully ponder and share a specific area or person you feel the Lord would have you go to.
D. Read Matthew 28:20 and John 20:22.
1. Who will go with us each time we step out in obedience to this command?
2. How does it give you courage to know that you don't have to go alone in your own strength?
*Commentary* The Bible Knowledge Commentary gives us excellent insight on John 20:23:
"Jesus was giving the apostles (and by extension, the Church) the privilege of announcing heaven's terms on how a person can receive forgiveness. If one believes in Jesus, then a Christian has the right to announce his forgiveness. If a person rejects Jesus' sacrifice, then a Christian can announce that that person is not forgiven."
Read John 20:24-31
1) John believed when he saw the empty grave clothes. The other disciples believed when Jesus came to them (verse 19). Now Thomas alone struggled, not yet believing the wonderful truth the others knew and believed.
A. Again, the first thing Jesus said to Thomas was "Peace to you." What would this mean to Thomas at this time?
B. Thomas was the last of the disciples to believe. He is often called doubting Thomas. Yet when he did come to faith, he made a strong statement of faith and commitment. Define both titles he ascribes to Jesus and explain what they meant to him, and what they mean to you personally.
1. My Lord
2. My God
2) In John 20:30, 31, John gives us the purpose of the Gospel of John. Explain what it is. Share how your study of this gospel has accomplished this goal in your life.
3) Share two lessons you have learned and desire to personally apply from this study of John, chapter 20.
"Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." John 20:21
"HE DWELT AMONG US"
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
The End, and Yet Only the Beginning
In John, chapter 19, we saw Jesus experience the depth of pain and the agony of the cross. He paid the ultimate price.
In chapter 20, we rejoiced in the victory of the resurrection.
Now in John, chapter 21, we will learn about the important transition the disciples needed to make. They had experienced a tumultuous series of events. Even though they had been reassured that their Lord was alive, they knew that their relationship with Him would be different. He would no longer "dwell among them" in a physical sense. They must have had many unanswered questions. Jesus' answer could possibly be summed up in the simple command and call He gave to Peter, "Follow Me." (John 21:19)
DAY #1 *Pray before you start your lesson each day.*
Read John, chapter 21 all the way through. Then go back and record the main facts. Several verses can be grouped together as you record the people, actions etc. Give a short title to this entire chapter.
DAY #2 Read John 21:1-6
A godly leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.
1) In Matthew 28:10, we read that Jesus had instructed the disciples to go to Galilee, and they would see Him there. They had, in obedience, left Jerusalem and now were near the Sea of Tiberias, also known as the Sea of Galilee. Peter was definitely a leader. The other disciples quickly responded to his suggestion to go fishing. Their decision to fish doesn't necessarily show a slipping into the life of their past, even though most had previously been full time fishermen. At this point, however, they had received no clear direction. They were waiting for the Lord. It is much easier to plunge into some familiar activity than to quietly, prayerfully wait on the Lord.
A. What do you think is symbolic about the fact that they had not caught any fish all night using their own methods?
B. Have you ever or are you now waiting on the Lord? Share how you can apply the lessons from the disciple's fishing trip to your own experience.
2) It is interesting to note when Peter reached the shore, Jesus was standing by a "fire of coals." The last "fire of coals" Peter was warmed by was in the enemy camp (John 18:18). Share the insights you might have as you ponder the difference between the two and the effect it might have had on Peter as he experienced Jesus' ready welcome.
DAY #3 THE REINSTATING OF PETER
At the last supper Jesus had with His disciples (John 13-17), He warned Peter, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:31, 32). In John 18:15-27, we read that under pressure and fear, Peter denied his Lord three times. Broken and ashamed, Peter needed restoration from the Lord directly. Then and only then could he go on to serve Him.
God formed us; sin deformed us; Christ's love transforms us.
1) Read John 21:15-17. This is a very important interaction between the once self confident Peter and his dear Lord Jesus. In the original manuscripts, two different Greek words for love are used in the exchange. When we read the English translation, only one word "love" is used. The Greek word agapas in this context has the meaning of unselfish love, ready to serve. The philo of Peter's answer suggests intimate and tender affection. By looking at the following chart, you will see when each word for "love" is used.
I love (philo)
I love (philo)
I love (philo)
Feed my lambs
Shepherd my sheep
Shepherd my sheep
A. Who are Jesus' sheep?
B. Why is love for Jesus an essential requirement for the job of feeding and tending to His sheep?
C. Peter took the job assigned to him by the Lord very seriously. The book of I Peter was written by Peter toward the end of his earthly life. Read I Peter 5:1-4 and share how what he wrote was an answer to the Lord's prayer in Luke 22:31, "But I prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
2) Our Good Shepherd is Jesus Himself.
A. How is Jesus our example in John, chapter 10 (review) as the good, loving shepherd?
B. "For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake." II Corinthians 5:14-15 (Amplified) Jesus asks you today, "do you love Me?" Does His love for you and your love for Him control, urge, and impel you to obey Him? In what ways can you respond and accept the Lord's request to feed and tend His sheep?
Serving Christ under law is a duty;
under love it's a delight!
1) In John 21:18-19, we learn that Jesus predicted Peter's death by crucifixion. When John wrote the Gospel of John (85-90 A.D.), Peter had already died as a martyr (69-70 A.D.). Tradition indicates that Peter was crucified for his faith, upside down (at his request) because he did not feel worthy of dying as his Lord did.
A. Jesus told Peter that his death would glorify God. Explain how God could possibly use the death of one of His Laborers to His Glory.
B. Read Romans 8:28. How can God use tragedy in the lives of Christians for good and His Glory? (This is an important question. Prayerfully ponder before you respond.) Include Romans 8:29 in your answer.
2) Two times Jesus commanded Peter to "Follow" Him. "Follow Me" is used in the gospels 77 times. Dedicated, focused discipleship is the concept being taught. Look up these words in a dictionary, and describe how you can obey this important command:
3) What are the benefits of true discipleship as stated in John 8:31-32? Share how following Jesus has had this effect in your own life personally.
4) In John 21:21, Peter inquires about John, "what about this man?" We can learn much from Jesus' reply, "what is that to you? Follow Me." What principles do you learn, and why are they important to your Christian walk and service for the Lord? *Optional* Share a scripture that applies.
"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name." John 20:30, 31
Praise the Lord! By His grace and guidance, we have come to know and understand the Gospel of John more clearly and deeply. As we started this study, one of the goals was that we would learn and actually "own" what we learn in this book. But the best and final goal would be that the truths that we've learned and the Lord Himself would actually "own" us.
Let us look back on the chapters that we have studied and review and reflect on what we have learned. It takes less than an hour to read the entire Gospel of John, a good investment at any time. May we read it again and again, as a great treasure that we truly love.
Review the chapters and lessons in each of the following sections, sharing the lessons that have powerfully ministered to you:
1) Jesus' Manifestation to the Nation
A. Chapters 1 through 5
B. Chapters 5 through 12
2) Jesus' Preparation of His Disciples
A. Chapters 13 through 17
3) Jesus' Death and Resurrection
A. Chapters 18 through 21
"This is the disciple (John) who testifies of these things; and we know that his testimony is true." John 21:24
Jesus' promise to us:
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
*Selected quotations throughout this study are from unknown authors. Many are found collected in Our Daily Times with God, Radio Bible Class.