John 11:17-27

What’s one of the greatest losses you’ve experienced?
As a Christian, do you feel the permission to experience grief and anger over loss?
Would knowing the purpose and duration of every difficult circumstance truly make suffering easier to face? 
How does the resurrection of Jesus give you hope, courage, and joy to face tomorrow? 
Who are you inviting into the hope the resurrected king offers? 

Speaking with Martha and Mary

11:17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already. 11:18 (Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 11:19 so many of the Jewish people of the region had come to Martha and Mary to console them over the loss of their brother.) 11:20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 11:21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 11:22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will grant you.”

11:23 Jesus replied, “Your brother will come back to life again.” 11:24 Martha said, “I know that he will come back to life again in the resurrection at the last day.” 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, 11:26 and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 11:27 She replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who comes into the world.”

The NET Bible© is freely available at http://www.bible.org

John 19:38-42

Where in this passage do you see taking a RISK for the Lord?
How does this passage motivate you to take RISK for Jesus?

Jesus’ Burial

19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus (but secretly, because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission, so he went and took the body away. 19:39 Nicodemus, the man who had previously come to Jesus at night, accompanied Joseph, carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about seventy-five pounds. 19:40 Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the aromatic spices, in strips of linen cloth according to Jewish burial customs. 19:41 Now at the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. 19:42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of preparation and the tomb was nearby, they placed Jesus’ body there.

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John 21:1-23

Where in this passage do you see DESPERATE DEPENDENCE?
How does this passage help you reflect upon your own DESPERATE DEPENDENCE?

Jesus’ Appearance to the Disciples in Galilee

21:1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. Now this is how he did so. 21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael (who was from Cana in Galilee), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of his were together. 21:3 Simon Peter told them, “I am going fishing.” “We will go with you,” they replied. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

21:4 When it was already very early morning, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 21:5 So Jesus said to them, “Children, you don’t have any fish, do you?” They replied, “No.” 21:6 He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they threw the net, and were not able to pull it in because of the large number of fish.

21:7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, tucked in his outer garment (for he had nothing on underneath it), and plunged into the sea. 21:8 Meanwhile the other disciples came with the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, only about a hundred yards.

21:9 When they got out on the beach, they saw a charcoal fire ready with a fish placed on it, and bread. 21:10 Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you have just now caught.” 21:11 So Simon Peter went aboard and pulled the net to shore. It was full of large fish, one hundred fifty-three, but although there were so many, the net was not torn. 21:12 “Come, have breakfast,” Jesus said. But none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 21:13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 21:14 This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Peter’s Restoration

21:15 Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Feed my lambs.” 21:16Jesus said a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told him, “Shepherd my sheep.” 21:17 Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep. 21:18 I tell you the solemn truth, when you were young, you tied your clothes around you and went wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will tie you up and bring you where you do not want to go.” 21:19 (Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.) After he said this, Jesus told Peter, “Follow me.”

Peter and the Disciple Jesus Loved

21:20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. (This was the disciple who had leaned back against Jesus’ chest at the meal and asked, “Lord, who is the one who is going to betray you?”)21:21 So when Peter saw him, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 21:22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours? You follow me!” 21:23 So the saying circulated among the brothers and sisters that this disciple was not going to die. But Jesus did not say to him that he was not going to die, but rather, “If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours?”

The NET Bible© is freely available at http://www.bible.org

John 20:1-10, 18-23

Where in this passage do you see UNEXPECTED JOY?
How does this passage help you reflect upon your own UNEXPECTED JOY?

The Resurrection

20:1 Now very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. 20:2 So she went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 20:3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. 20:4 The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 20:5 He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. 20:6 Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, 20:7 and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. 20:8Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed. 20:9 (For they did not yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead.)

20:10 So the disciples went back to their homes.

20:18 Mary Magdalene came and informed the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what Jesus had said to her.

Jesus’ Appearance to the Disciples

20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together and locked the doors of the place because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you.” 20:22 And after he said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 20:23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”

The NET Bible© is freely available at http://www.bible.org

 

Matthew 21:33-46

Where in this passage do you see INVITING people into conversation about the Lord?
How does this passage motivate you to INVITE people into conversation about Jesus?

 The Parable of the Tenants

21:33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went on a journey.21:34 When the harvest time was near, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his portion of the crop. 21:35 But the tenants seized his slaves, beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 21:36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first, and they treated them the same way. 21:37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 21:38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and get his inheritance!’ 21:39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 21:40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 21:41 They said to him, “He will utterly destroy those evil men! Then he will lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him his portion at the harvest.”

21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

21:43 For this reason I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 21:44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, and the one on whom it falls will be crushed.” 21:45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 21:46 They wanted to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowds, because the crowds regarded him as a prophet.

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John 14:1-31

Describe a time when you felt a deep connection to Jesus.
What does it mean to abide in Christ?
What would you like to see God develop in your life this month and why?
Brainstorm as a group at least 7 ways to practice abiding in Jesus this week. Which one will you try?
Jesus’ Parting Words to His Disciples

14:1 “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. 14:2 There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. 14:3 And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. 14:4 And you know the way where I am going.”

14:5 Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 14:6 Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 14:7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.”

14:8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” 14:9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves. 14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Teaching on the Holy Spirit

14:15 “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. 14:16 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever – 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.

14:18 “I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you. 14:19 In a little while the world will not see me any longer, but you will see me; because I live, you will live too. 14:20 You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you. 14:21 The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.”

14:22 “Lord,” Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “what has happened that you are going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him. 14:24 The person who does not love me does not obey my words. And the word you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

14:25 “I have spoken these things while staying with you. 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage. 14:28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am. 14:29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. 14:30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me, 14:31 but I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Get up, let us go from here.”

The NET Bible© is freely available at http://www.bible.org

John 15:1-17

Describe a time when you felt a deep connection to Jesus.
What does it mean to abide in Christ?
What would you like to see God develop in your life this month and why?
Brainstorm as a group at least 7 ways to practice abiding in Jesus this week. Which one will you try?
The Vine and the Branches

15:1 “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. 15:2 He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. 15:3 You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. 15:4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.

15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. 15:6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up. 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. 15:8 My Father is honored by this, that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples.

15:9 “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love. 15:10 If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.15:11 I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. 15:12 My commandment is this – to love one another just as I have loved you. 15:13 No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends. 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father. 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 15:17 This I command you – to love one another.

The NET Bible© is freely available at http://www.bible.org