(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 6th – 12th August 2018)
FOCUS SCRIPTURE PASSAGE/S: READ John 14:1-14
Some Context: This verse has probably been the source of much controversy for centuries. On a first read it can imply intolerance and be used to invalidate other faith beliefs. We will journey together some more on this through the questions below. Let’s understand that Jesus was talking to his disciples – and not a great crowd that included people of other faiths or religions. They’d shared the last supper together and Jesus had just delivered some very hard news. Jesus is offering a picture of heaven in this passage.
1. This scripture is often used at a funeral or memorial service to offer comfort to the grieving family. “Rooms, dwelling places or mansions” – the word is the noun form of “abide” – think about last week’s message. Knowing the conversation that preceded Jesus saying these words, “I AM the way, the truth and the life” how does it shape your understanding of this I AM statement?
2. Some more context: Johns’ Gospel was written at a time of great tension between the Jews and the Christians. Christians has also become a target for persecution in Rome. Do you think John’s intention could be been used to help Christ-followers be certain and assured of their faith and connection to Christ? Why or why not?
3. The next part of verse 6 – “no one comes to the Father except through me” still appears to be an exclusive statement. Debates about what “makes Christianity Distinctive?” tend to rage on. CS Lewis offers an answer – “It’s grace” If we think of this in the light of our salvation does it change the way you think of this verse? How or why not?
4. The name Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) means “God is salvation.” What do you think of this statement: “Jesus is Jesus because he is the embodiment of a grand truth – God is Salvation. Jesus came to live out that truth and provide a way for us to experience it. That way is a way of grace and truth.”?
5. What do these words from John’s Gospel, that provide us with a pattern for living, mean for us today if we are to be embracing and accepting followers of Christ? If Jesus is our pattern for living, then how can we do this? What are ‘ways of being’ as a Christian that can be life-giving for us and others?
6. What is the difference between a church that focuses on helping people know Jesus versus a church that focuses on making people members? Which church is HMC and what part do you play?
7. The disciples made Jesus a way of life. How do you make Jesus a way of life in your ordinary living. What does it look like for you?