Sermon Based Small Groups

Search Party – Part 1 – Judas: Close to the Truth

By March 11, 2018 No Comments

Sermon Based Group Homework

For the message on March 11, 2018
Passage: John 18:1-11


1. Who was your best friend growing up? Did he or she ever anger or disappoint you? How did you respond?

2. Are you better at keeping secrets concerning yourself or others? Why?

3. Looking back at your notes from this week’s message, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?


1. Judas was part of Jesus’ circle of friends for three years. During that time, he secretly took money out of their money bag for himself. Judas pretended to be a true friend and devoted disciple. Judas had hardened his heart over these three years to Jesus’ life, teachings, and miracles. At the end of Jesus’ life, Judas was still in it for the money. The damage was done and although he felt remorse and guilt, he never took his guilt to the Lord and asked for forgiveness and grace. Judas’ life ended in tragedy because of his hardened heart. What do the following verses teach about the dangers of and solutions to hardened hearts?

Proverbs 28:13-14 (ESV)
13  Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. 14  Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Romans 2:4-5 (ESV)
4  Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Acts 28:23-28 (ESV)
23  When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24  And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25  And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26  “‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 27  For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ 28  Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

  • Have you ever refused or procrastinated to do something that God had clearly revealed to you to do? How did that affect your heart?
  • How do the benefits of being honest about our weaknesses outweigh the costs of hiding our weaknesses and pretending?

2. Mike explained in the message that two people failed in the Garden of Gethsemane on that night – Judas and Peter – but only one life got back on track with the Lord. What evidence can you point to that Peter had a teachable heart and Judas didn’t? What do the following verses reveal about having a teachable heart?

2 Kings 22:19 (ESV)
19  because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD.

Proverbs 9:9 (ESV)
9  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

Hebrews 12:4-11 (ESV)
4  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

  • Can you think of a time when you obeyed the Lord, in spite of it being difficult, and it benefited you?
  • Do you think delayed obedience is the same thing as disobedience? Explain.

3. Peter eventually dealt with his failures in a healthy way but Judas did not. What can we learn in 1 John about how to properly respond when we disobey the Lord?

1 John 1:8-2:2 (ESV)
8  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2  He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

  • Based on what we’ve covered in this study, how would you explain the importance of heeding Proverbs 4:23?

Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)
23  Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.



1. Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, is there one thing you’d especially like to remember or change this week?

2. Do you have any prayer requests for your group?

Prayer Requests:

Sundays: 9:30 & 11:00AM