On Easter Sunday, Jeremy talked about Mary’s encounter with the risen Jesus in the garden outside his tomb. The main question being raised by the passage is, “Where is Jesus?” The answer? He’s alive and well, closer than we thought, and calling our name. Like Mary’s, our journeys often include five elements: a quest (for God, truth, purpose, etc.), an encounter (though we may not recognize it), a calling (a personal experience of Jesus), a response (turning to Jesus and acknowledging his proper role), and a mission (to tell about our own experience of meeting the risen Jesus and share his message).
Can you identify any of the five elements Jeremy described on Sunday (reviewed above) in your own spiritual journey? Share a significant moment with the group.
Looking at Scripture:
Read John 20:19-23.
What stands out to you or speaks to you from that passage?
In his post-resurrection state, Jesus is often described as having some sort of a new, super-human existence, where he can “appear” in locked rooms, yet still have be a physical presence (e.g. eating Luke 24:42-43). Yet even before his resurrection he could do physically impossible things, like walking on water. How different do you think Jesus’ state was after his resurrection, compared to normal human existence?
Verses 21-22 are very significant, because they begin to shape the answer to “what comes next,” after the story John is telling ends. What do these passages tell us about how the story of “the Word who became flesh” continues after he ascends back to heaven?
What do you think v. 23 means? (Excerpt from commentary included on back page)
Read John 20:24-31
This is the third time Jesus says “peace be with you” to his disciples. What do you think is the significance of these words?
How does this passage treat the relationship between doubt and faith?
To this point in the gospel of John, there has been a lot of emphasis on “seeing and believing.” How does v. 29-31 signal a significant shift in how Jesus is to be related to? What is faith in Jesus based on now, rather than “seeing” personally?
In what ways do you personally sense you have been sent into the world to continue the mission of Jesus?
How can you depend more fully on the Spirit’s empowerment in day to day life?
How are doubt and faith at work in your life? What do you need from Jesus to help you believe?