Tuesday, June 19, 2018

John 12:27-50: A Final Appeal (Discussion Questions)

John 12:27-50: A Final Appeal
preached June 12, 2018

Discussion Questions

1) What do you think of the term "people of faith," as it is used by media outlets? Is it helpful? Why or why not?

2) The Westminster Shorter Catechism defines faith in Jesus as "a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon Him alone for salvation, as He is offered to us in the gospel." What stands out to you in this definition? How does it help us grasp what Jesus means in this passage by His call for us to "believe in Him?"

3) What is the difference between having faith in our faith and having faith in Jesus?

4) What evidence do we have in this passage that God must open our eyes to believe? Put another way, what are the crowds NOT able to see?

5) Bertrand Russell famous said that he would have to say to God, on Judgment Day, "I'm sorry but you haven't given us enough evidence." How is the response of the crowd similar to this comment? What does that say about the nature of unbelief?

6) How does this passage challenge us to live by faith in Jesus? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fit for a King :: John 12:12-26 :: June 10, 2018

John 12:26-26 -- Discussion Questions

1) Jesus displays Himself as a King by accepting the praises of the people outside Jerusalem. What is the significance of the palms? And the songs? Why is it so incredible that Jesus does not shut down this parade?

2) At the same time, Jesus corrects the peoples' misunderstandings about His Kingship. Discuss what the following decisions say about Jesus' Kingship:

  • Jesus' decision to ride a donkey
  • Jesus' reception of the Greek Gentiles 
  • Jesus' discussion of His death (24)
3) Jesus spells out how our lives should reflect the sort of King we serve, instructing us in verse 25 to live a life of self-denial. What's the difference between hating yourself and humbling yourself? Between self-loathing and self-denial? How do we live this out in our daily lives? Give some specific examples.

4) Jesus also promises that He bestows true honor to those who follow Him: verse 26. Compare and contrast the honor that we try to "grasp" with the honor that can only be "given." Why is the Father's honor so much better? 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

John 12:1-11 :: Worth It All :: Discussion Questions

1. Consider each person mentioned as attending this party: Martha, Lazarus, Judas, and Mary. Who do you identify with? Why?

2. What is your prized possession? How much is it worth to you? Can you sympathize with Judas, who rebuked Mary for spending her prized possession on Jesus?

3. Name some of the things that made Mary undignified at the party: what did she do that broke cultural barriers and protocols? Speculate on why did it (the text only gives us clues but no direct answers to that question).

4. Judas says that the perfume was worth 1 years wage -- that's beaucoup bucks! Are there times you are faced with a similar decision about how to invest your money for the kingdom? How does Mary's example help you make that decision?

5. Should Christians care about the poor? Does Jesus contradict or confirm your answer when he insists that "the poor will always be with you?"

6. Ryan said that before we can answer the question, "What is Jesus worth to you?" we must answer the question, "What are you worth to Him?" How does Mary help us answer that second question? Why does that answer help us answer the first?