How did it go when you covered John 1:1-18 with your friend? Let me assure you that each time you get together, you will get a little more comfortable leading the discussion. The hardest part is not knowing what might come up, and admitting that you may not know every answer. Was there something that you were asked that you didn’t know? You can help other Christians by posting a comment on the John 1:1-18 blog page so that they can see what you encountered. Just don’t get all hung up on the variables. Stick to the key questions!
This time we will move to John 1:35-51. Two things you will notice right away. 1.) We skipped verses 19 through 34. And I do suggest that you skip these. Remember that our objective is to learn about who Jesus said He was and what Jesus did. The verses we are skipping are more about John the Baptist than they are about Jesus. 2.) This passage is a little longer, and we’re beginning to get into some of the red letters. The Bible or New Testament you are using may not have red ink for the words of Jesus, but these words are where we want to spend much of our time talking. So here are this week’s questions:
For John 1:38 (Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”)
Question 1: If Jesus asked you, “What do you seek,” what would you say/answer?
(Give them plenty of time to consider what they might ask, even if they don’t believe Jesus was a true historical person.)
For John 1:41 (The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).)
Question 2: What have you found?
(This question plays off the first question – what do you seek, what have you found. Your friend might have difficulty answering these questions, but be sure that the questions will continue to stir within them over the next weeks and months.)
For John 1:48 ( “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”)
Question 3: Who really knows you?
(A good follow-on questions is: Do you think God knows you? These kinds of questions are not something that most people normally consider. Give your friend time to think and answer. And don’t try to correct them. You’re asking for what they think, not for the theologically right answer!)
For John 1:49-50 (Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”)
Question 4: Did Jesus agree or disagree with Nathanael’s statement?
(Our objective here is not to prove that Jesus is the Son of God and/or the King of Israel. It is to show that when called that name, He did not correct the person what said it. This might feel like an uncomfortable place for you to stop, but you’re ending your discussion with a key thought: That Jesus allowed people to call Him the Son of God.)