Good morning Christ’s beloved. My prayer is this: that the passage at hand would convict the heart, and encourage the soul; and the Spirit would stir up our affections for Christ Jesus. Today’s passage is demanding of every believer and non-believer’s attention. Christ speaks a word that is not accepted by most. What could he say that is so divisive, so unbelievable? -Max
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?
_What was the best thing that happened to you this last week? What was the most difficult?
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)
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
[ John 8:48:59 ]
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
_ What causes Jesus to say that the Jews and Pharisees are dishonoring him in v.49? Use as reference: John 8:39-41 and John 8:43-44
_What does Christ mean in ‘keeping his word’ in verse 51? What is the result of keeping it? Use as reference: John 6:63-64, John 6:68, John 8:31-32, John 15:5-10
52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’[a] 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”
_How do verses 52 and 53 reveal what Christ is speaking of himself?
_What relationship does Jesus establish in verses 54 and 55?
_What relationship does Jesus claim he has with Abraham in verses 56?
57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”[b] 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
_What is Jesus saying of himself when he says he is “I am”? Use as reference Exodus 3:14, Deuteronomy 32:39 and Isaiah 41:4 and 43:10.
_What is the reaction from the Jews in verse 59? Why does Jesus’ claim produce such a hostility and hatred from the Jews?
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
_Understanding better Christ’s holiness and divinity, how might this passage convict you and motivate you to ‘keep his word’?
_What is a simple step of obedience Christ is calling you to take?
+ 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)