Happy Friday, brothers and sisters! Before we continue through John, first think back to John 1:1 and the beginning of John 1:14, "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." We know that Jesus is the Word, fully God translated into a fully human form--this places a whole new spin on the phrase "figure of speech"!
Jesus frequently used figures of speech to pique the curiosity of His intended audience and draw them in. However, Jesus indicated there is a time for figures of speech, and a time for speaking plainly. As Jesus began to speak more plainly, though, not all of His clear prophecies were happy revelations, at least for this time. But He didn't leave us there--He pointed toward the rest of the story, where joy is made full. Let God’s word today challenge you to have the courage to see the plain truth for what it is, and to be comforted through faith in Christ Jesus and what He has done.
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)
+ 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 16:25-33 ]
25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
_ Think again about what Jesus was saying about not longer using figures of speech. Why will we be able to ask the Father directly in Jesus name? (v25-27)
_ What was Jesus' clear message in v28?
29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
_ What was the disciples' response to such clear words from Jesus? (v29-30)
_ How did Jesus turn the disciples' words into plain-spoken prophecy about them? (v31-32)
_ While Jesus' prophecy seemed to paint a bleak picture, how did He suggest we should perceive it? (v33)
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
_ When Jesus makes things clear to us, it often includes seeing our own shortcomings and weaknesses, but those are exactly where we can see God working in our own lives. Where have you seen God at work in your life recently? Where is God showing you He wants to work in your life now?
+ 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)
_ This passage gives both honest and very good news. With whom can you share this message of hope?