Today is Monday April 8th. After Jesus Raised Lazarus from the dead the Pharisees responded in fear. They saw Jesus as a threat to their nation. The High Priest Caiaphas says to them “it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” They feared that Jesus would bring an end to their Jewish nation. Unbeknownst to him Caiaphas was right that it was better for this one man, Jesus, to perish. Not just for the Jewish nation but for all of God's people that we might be drawn together as Children of God. Fear is an easy response in the face of turmoil, but the truth of who God is and how He has always worked for His good should bring us peace and comfort. Do not let fear motivate you, but look to God and His desire to reconcile us all as comfort.
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 11.45-55 ]
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. 54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples. 55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.
_ Who believed Jesus?
_ What did the Pharisees say?
_ What did Caiaphas say?
_ What did Caiaphas prophesy?
_ What did the council decide?
_ What did Jesus do?
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
_ Often times we can take a short view and respond in fear? What areas of your life do you find yourself prone to respond to in fear? (Finances, success, relationships, jobs, security?)
_ What can you do today to trust that God is working all things towards good even in the face of hardships? (Community, reading, confession, scripture, accountability?)
+ 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)