It is Friday, May 17, 2019. Peter is one of my favorite characters in all of the Bible. He is SO human!!! Earlier in the evening, he had the boldness to brandish his sword when a large mob came to arrest Jesus. A very short time later, he caves when a servant girl innocently asks him if he even knows Him!!! I don't know about you, but I take some solace in the fact that even those who walked with Jesus during his earthly ministry messed up sometimes, although mostly, it's just a reminder about the sin condition that affects all of humanity. 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)
+ 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 18:15-18 ]
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest,16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in.17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
_ The story of Peter's denial of Jesus is found in all four Gospels. Compare and contrast John's version with the other accounts (Matthew 26:57-75, Mark 16:50-72, Luke 22:54-61). Knowing Jesus, what "look" did He give Peter in Luke 22:61? There is no right or wrong answer here; just something to ponder.
_ Given the fact that Peter was the recognized leader of the Apostles and of the early Christian church, what does that tell you about this story? What does it tell you about Peter, noting that most scholars believe Mark's gospel was based on interviews with Peter himself?
_ Compare and contrast John's version of Peter's denials with John's version of Peter's restoration by Jesus in John 21:1-19. What does this tell you about forgiveness offered by Christ? Do you have a “denial/restoration” story of your own to share with others?
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
_ I can't remember a time when I verbally denied Jesus, but I know of too many occasions when my attitude and/or actions (or inactions) "spoke" volumes about His prominence in my life. Repent and receive forgiveness; then DAILY ask the Lord for other opportunities to share your faith with someone, relying on the promise of Jesus that the Holy Spirit will give you just the right words to say (John 14:26).
+ 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)