On Sunday, Peter talked about Jesus’ restoration of his friend Peter, after he had denied him three times. That brought us to the end of John’s gospel, and now we are going back to the part we skipped: John 14-16, a section of teaching that is often called Jesus’ “farewell discourse.”
Have you ever experienced a worship service, ritual, or other event that was part of a religious tradition outside of Christianity? What was your experience like?
Looking at Scripture:
Read John 14:1-3
Jesus is using language familiar to people in his own day. After a man and woman were ceremonially “betrothed,” or engaged, the man would return to his parents’ home to begin construction on an attached dwelling for the two of them to begin their married life. This meant a period of prolonged separation. But when he had finished their new home/room, the groom would return for his bride, to take her back for a joyous wedding celebration and to live with him from that point forward.
How does this cultural knowledge shed greater light on what Jesus is trying to convey to his disciples here?
How should this affect our own outlook/worldview today?
Read John 14:4-11.
What is the overall message of this passage?
In verse 6, Jesus describes himself as three things:
1. The way – This word also means road, and was used to describe the early Christian movement (e.g. Acts 9:2, 22:4-5). The only other time it is used in John is 1:23.
2. The truth – This word has been important in John, used so far in 1:14, 17; 3:21; 4:23, 24; 5:33; 8:32-46.
3. The life – This is a main theme, used over 30 times, often with the adjective “eternal”
What is the significance of each of these terms? What is Jesus trying to convey to his disciples about why he came and what he offered people?
The second half of verse 6 says, “no one can come to the father except through me.” This can sound exclusive and narrow in our multi-faith society. What do you think Jesus wanted to communicate by saying this? Consider especially the surrounding context.
Do you think God can truly be found in other religions? To what extent? Why/why not?
Read John 14:12-14.
What do you think it means to ask for something “in Jesus’ name”?
Why did Jesus’ departure open up the possibility of his disciples doing “even greater works”?
It seems Jesus gives us a blank cheque: “Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” Yet, this doesn’t seem to match our experience of reality. Why do you think this is?
In the very first verse of this passage, Jesus gives a simple remedy for a troubled heart. Where in your life is your heart troubled, and how can trusting God and Jesus bring peace?