Sermon Based Small Groups

Search Party – Part 8 – John: Believing the Truth

By April 29, 2018 No Comments

Sermon Based Group Homework

For the message on April 29, 2018
Passage: John 21:18-25

QUICK REVIEW:  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?

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

1. Besides the Bible, what is your favorite book?

2. While John included many of things that Jesus did during His ministry, he said no amount of books would be able to contain all that Jesus did during those three years.  What is one thing that Jesus has done in your life that you think most people may not know about?

LET’S GO DEEPER

1. This Sunday, Mike talked about some of the obstacles we must overcome if we are going to follow Jesus. Consider the following stories of people who had a difficult time making the decision to follow Jesus. Can you identify what obstacle that each of them were dealing with?

Matthew 19:16-22 (ESV)
16  And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17  And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18  He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19  Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20  The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21  Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22  When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

John 6:60-66 (ESV)
60  When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61  But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62  Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64  But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65  And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66  After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

Mark 9:17-23 (ESV)
17  And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18  And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19  And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20  And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21  And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22  And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23  And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”

  • Before you trusted in Christ for salvation, what obstacles to belief did you have to overcome?
  • Well known Pastor Charles Stanley has said that his life motto is, “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” Why do we sometimes fear what is on the other side of obedience more than we fear what is on the other side of disobedience?

2. One of the hesitations that Peter had in following Jesus was what would happen to John. Jesus told Peter, in a straightforward way, that it was none of his business! Jesus just wanted Peter to take responsibility for his own choice to follow Him. What lessons can you draw from the Parable of the Talents about taking personal responsibility for own spiritual walk?

Matthew 25:14-30 (ESV)
14  “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15  To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16  He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17  So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18  But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19  Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20  And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22  And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24  He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25  so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26  But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27  Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28  So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29  For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  • Do you think the master in this parable treated each of his servants equally? Why or why not?
  • How does the master describe the servant who wasn’t faithful with the opportunity and resources he had been given? Do you think the servant deserved the scolding he received from his master?
  • Is there anything in your life that has recently held you back  from following Jesus wholeheartedly? What have you done to overcome this obstacle?

3. John’s purpose in writing his gospel was to convince readers to believe in Jesus and experience true life as one of His followers. According to the following verses, what is promised to those who follow Jesus? What was not promised?

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.

John 15:9-11 (ESV)
9  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV)
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

  • Based on your own experience with Jesus, how are the positives for following Jesus outweighing the negatives that come along with following Jesus?

TAKE IT HOME

1. Is there anything keeping you from following Jesus with your whole heart?  If so, give that obstacle to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help you give yourself completely to Him.

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

 

Prayer Requests:

 

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