Sermon Based Small Groups

Search Party – Part 2 – Peter: Running from the Truth

By March 18, 2018 No Comments

Sermon Based Group Homework

For the message on March 18, 2018
Passage: John 18:12-18, 25-27

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

1. Did you ever warm yourself by a campfire when you were a kid? Would you rather roast marshmallows or hot dogs over a campfire?

2. When have you been challenged to keep quiet about your faith because of fear?

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?

LET’S GO DEEPER

1. Peter wanted to follow Jesus, but out of fear, he stayed out in the courtyard and attempted to blend in with the others who were warming themselves by the fire. Peter was asked three times about knowing Jesus and three times he denied knowing Him. Some believers are often tempted to follow Jesus at a distance where they won’t face ridicule or persecution. According to the following verses, how do you think Jesus feels about half-hearted devotion to Him?

Matthew 6:24 (ESV)
24  “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Matthew 16:24-25 (ESV)
24  Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Revelation 3:15-16 (ESV)
15  “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

  • What do you think total commitment to Jesus looks like in practical terms?
  • Why are some believers afraid to give Jesus total commitment today in our culture?

2. Peter could have argued that, compared to the other disciples who had fled in fear, at least he had stayed somewhat close to Jesus’ physical location. We often are tempted to compare ourselves with others on how well we are following Jesus. What does the Bible say about the trap of comparison according to these verses?

2 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV)
12  Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

Galatians 6:3-5 (ESV)
3  For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4  But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5  For each will have to bear his own load.

John 21:18-22 (ESV)
18  Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19  (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” 20  Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21  When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22  Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

  • Why is the temptation to compare our spirituality to others so enticing?
  • How can you guard yourself against the sin of comparison?

3. Peter’s story turns out well as he eventually recovers from his denials and grows into the chief spokesperson at the launch of the church during Pentecost. Read the following account in Acts as Peter boldly preaches to the people at Pentecost. Describe the difference you see in Peter.

Acts 2:14-36 (ESV)
14  But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15  For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16  But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17  “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18  even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. 19  And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20  the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. 21  And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ 22  “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23  this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24  God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25  For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26  therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. 27  For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. 28  You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ 29  “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30  Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31  he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32  This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33  Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. 34  For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, 35  until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ 36  Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

  • In what areas of your life do you need to be more bold in your walk with Jesus?

TAKE IT HOME

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:

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