It is Friday, March 22, 2019. The Gospel of John is known for the "I AM" proclamations made by Jesus, and we have one in today's passage; "I am the Light of the World". What did Jesus mean by this and other statements He makes in this section of Scripture? As we dig into these verses, especially verses 21-30, you will find out why the Pharisees ultimately wanted Jesus killed!!! Chris Adomanis
The following guide is a resource for you to use in your personal time of solitude with the Lord as well as when you connect with the Community that you facilitate. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table.
CATCH-UP- What was your high and low from last week/yesterday?
SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community. A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).
DISCOVER (IN LARGE GROUP)
[ John 8:12-30 ]
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true.18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” 19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,”Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” 22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?” 23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” 25 “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,”Jesus replied.26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” 27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father.28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up[a]the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn?
(Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ How would the Jews understand Jesus' statement about being the Light of the World in the context of the celebration of the Feast of Booths (see Exodus 13:21 and Leviticus 23:33-43) Also read these other Old Testament verses Psalm 27:1, Psalm 119:105 and Isaiah 42:5-9.
_ How did Jesus confront the Pharisees charge that his claims weren't true because there was not a second witness? What do you think the Pharisees thought about that?
_ In verse 21, where is Jesus "going" and what is keeping the Jews (or anyone, for that matter) from "going there"? What is the ONLY remedy that will enable the Jews (or anyone, for that matter) to "go there" according to verse 24? What do you think the Pharisees thought about that?
_ Jesus used the phrase "I am he" in verses 24 and 28. In the Greek, this is the same phrase used in Exodus 3:14. What do you think the Jews thought about that?
_ What does it mean to believe in Jesus? When did YOU start to believe in Jesus and what brought you to that decision?
PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)
+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_ From a commentary I am using to study the Gospel of John. "It is a sad thing to die alone, to die estranged from family, or to die entirely destitute. WORSE STILL, however, is to die in our sins. If we die in our sins, our end will be judgment, but if we die in faith, we will live with Christ forever. We must IMPLORE people to trust in Christ so that they will die in faith, not in their sin". At the end of life, there are only two types of people, those who are found to be in Christ, and those found to be in their sin!!! Commit to pray EARNESTLY in 2019 for just ONE person you know who right now is in their sin and without Christ!!!
+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step? (e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)