The Book of John

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The Gospel of John: Week One

Week One: The Word was with God, and the Word was God 

Start the video below to view a special introduction from Dr. Mark Yarbrough, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Bible Exposition. Then, your first week’s lecture will begin.

Lesson Points

The Book of John is divided into several major sections, each with a distinct purpose.
The prologue was written to lay a theological foundation for the rest of the book, to describe who Jesus Christ is and what He did.

Worship Moment

The opening section of the Book of John, known as the prologue, begins with this marvelous statement.  The Word (Jesus) was with God the Father in eternity past, and is Himself, God.  Let’s take a moment to remember why we are here.

Our purpose is not just to come to a greater knowledge of a book of the Bible, but to interact with God.  Our hope is that through studying the Word on a page, we will come to a deeper knowledge of the Word in Person, that is, Jesus Christ.  Take a moment and pray that through this eight-week study, God would reveal Himself to you in a new and exciting way.

Discussion Questions

What are the major sections of the Book of John?   What is the purpose of each section?
What do you think are some core beliefs of the Christian faith?  Why are these beliefs central?  Why are others not central?
Describe the relationship between the Word (Jesus) and God the Father in this passage.  How does this affect our understanding of a community?

The Gospel of John: Week Two

Week Two – Jesus is the Light 

Last week we studied the prologue in chapter one.  Let’s begin this week by picking up where we stopped.  Here’s Dr. Bailey to continue the discussion.

Lesson Points

Jesus is the Light which came into the world but was not received.
God’s desire is that humans would receive Jesus as their Savior.
John the Baptist came as the prophesied forerunner to Christ’s ministry.

Worship Moment

In the prologue of John’s Gospel, Jesus is described as a “Light” which comes into the world to enlighten humanity.  The implications of this are far reaching.  Let us take a moment to thank God for His love and grace in choosing to bring us to the Light, though we were sinners before Him.

We must remember that the God we serve desires people to come to Him, and has graciously chosen to use us, His people, as His primary means of doing that.  This responsibility is humbling and encouraging, and today we will look at what it means to be a witness to this light.

Discussion Questions

What does it mean that Jesus is “the Light”?  What are some practical implications of this?
How is John the Baptist’s ministry an example for our witness today?
What did the word “logos” mean in Greek philosophy?  In Hebrew Theology?
How does John apply these Greek and Hebrew ideas to Jesus?
God, through John, does a masterful job of speaking to the Greco-Roman and Hebrew cultures in a way that they can understand.  How can we imitate this in our culture?

The Gospel of John: Week Three

Week Three – Jesus the Miracle Worker

In this video, we come to the second chapter of John, and to the first recorded miracle of Jesus.  Dr. Bailey will provide us with some insight into this miracle and the theological lessons it teaches us.

Lesson Points

Jesus uses miracles as signs to point to His authenticity as the Messiah/Christ.
We cannot usually know the reason for sickness and suffering.
Jesus is God.

Worship Moment

 In the four Gospel accounts, Jesus is often more recognized for His miracles than for His teaching.  Although we shouldn’t dwell exclusively on His ability to heal the sick or change water to wine, we would do well to remember that our God can work wonders in the world He created.

Let’s take a few minutes to pray and thank God for all the miracles He has done, whether in Scripture or in your life.  Let’s also ask Him to speak to our minds and hearts so that we would see these miracles for what they are and learn what He is trying to teach us through them.

Discussion Questions

Describe the circumstances surrounding Jesus’s first miracle.  What do these circumstances tell us about the miracle and about Jesus Himself?
What do we learn from this passage (and the rest of Scripture) about the causes of sickness and suffering?  How can we use this knowledge in our ministries?
What is the relationship between Jesus’s miracles and His teaching in the Book of John?
How does Jesus understand the Scriptures?  How should we understand them?

The Gospel of John: Week Four

Week Four – Jesus the Bread of Life

Our first video for the week begins in chapter six, with the feeding of the five thousand.  Dr. Bailey will give us some important background information, then move on to the miracle of walking on water.

Lesson Points

Jesus Himself is the provision for our salvation.
Our salvation in Christ is secured by His grace.
Much of Jesus’s public ministry was to prove His status as Messiah/Christ.

Worship Moment

 This week, we’ll look at Jesus’s most public miracle, and discuss what it means to be saved.  Jesus is our provider—both of salvation and of the more mundane things of life.  Let’s take a moment to pray to God and thank Him for His provision in our lives.  Remember the physical and emotional things He has provided, and remember the spiritual things, especially the gift of salvation.

Discussion Questions

What is the significance of this miracle of feeding?  What does it teach us about Jesus?
How does one receive the gift of salvation that Jesus offers?  What does it mean to believe in Him?
What does this passage teach us about eternal security?  On what basis can we be secure in our salvation?
What did the people of Jerusalem think of Jesus?  How does this compare with our culture today?

The Gospel of John: Week Five

Week Five – Jesus the Good Shepherd

In this video, Jesus will continue to address concerns about His character and leadership as the Christ.  Dr. Bailey will also give us some instruction about how to handle passages whose origin is Scripture.

Lesson Points

The Old Testament provides proof that Jesus is the Messiah/Christ.
Jesus is the Light that allows the blind to see.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
Jesus is the true Life and the resurrection.

Worship Moment

This week we will cover the passage in which Jesus describes Himself as the good shepherd. Jesus’s role as the one who watches, tends, and protects His flock is among the best known and most loved of Jesus’s depictions.  This shepherd image is quoted often enough to be a cliche, but it is a beautiful metaphor for Jesus’s love for us.  As we dive deeper into the truths of God’s Word, we need to remember that the God we are studying is not an academic professor, but a caregiver for His beloved people.

Discussion Questions

How can we handle passages whose originality is questioned intelligently?
What can we learn about our conduct from Jesus’s response in this exchange?  How can we imitate His graceful conduct when we face opposition?
What can we learn from this formerly blind man’s path to faith about our relationship with God and those around us?
What does it mean that Jesus is “the Light”?  Does this differ at all from your answer in week 2?
Why does Jesus describe Himself as a “good shepherd”?  What does He mean by this?

The Gospel of John: Week Six

Week Six – The Emotions of Jesus

This video will begin in chapter ten. First, we will work through a difficult reference to the Old Testament.  Dr. Bailey will then move on to the miracle of raising Lazarus, the friend of Jesus.

Lesson Points

Jesus has a particular understanding of Scripture that we should adopt.
Jesus is fully man, and had close, personal friendships with people in His earthly ministry.
The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus despite the resurrection of Lazarus.
Jesus lays out His theology to instruct His disciples in the Upper Room Discourse.

Worship Moment

Part of what we looked at this week was the raising of Lazarus, Jesus’s friend.  In the passage, we saw a profound emotional response from Jesus, to the point of weeping.  We must remember that though God controls of everything, His relationships with human beings are genuine.

Take a moment and thank God for the relationship you have with Him. Remember that He is your Savior and Lord, and He is your friend as well. He cares deeply for you.

Discussion Questions

What does it mean that Jesus felt emotions this deeply?  How does this shape our view of His humanity and divinity?
What is the significance of anointing Jesus with perfume?
Why did Jesus die?  What are His purposes for dying?
Who is the Upper Room Discourse addressed to?  Why is this significant for our understanding of the passage?

The Gospel of John: Week Seven

Week Seven – Jesus the Great Unifier

This week will cover the content of the upper room discourse, found in John 13-17.  This discourse is the core teaching section of the book, and Dr. Bailey will use it as an opportunity to model the process of building a biblical theology.

Lesson Points

Jesus is the greatest of all servants, who cleanses His followers completely.
Jesus calls us primarily to love, and holds Himself up as the example for our love.
The Holy Spirit ministers on Earth, through believers, in Christ’s name.
Our Christian lives should consist of proper relationships to Christ, our fellow believers, and the world.
Christ desires unity for His body.

Worship Moment

As we seek to live out a Christian life, it is easy to get caught up in every little difference we have with other Christians.  How often has a slight change in a second-tier concern of theology split denominations?  We often get so angry about these differences that we forget the importance of unity.

As believers in Christ, we are one with Him, and we can be one with each other through Him.  As we have seen this week, Jesus prays to the Father for this very thing.  Let’s ask God to give us a spirit of unity rather than disunity, of peace rather than conflict, and of love rather than division with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Discussion Questions

Describe the context of Judas’s betrayal.  What does it teach us about walking with Christ and about refusing to walk with Him?
What does it mean to love one another as Christ loved you?  What does this look like in your life?  What can you do to improve in this area?
Describe genuine biblical love for fellow believers based on this passage.  How can we model this in our lives?
How can people of so many different backgrounds (denominational, vocational, educational, economic, lifestyle, etc.) be unified? What is the basis of this unity? What are you doing to express this unity in your life? Your family? Your church?

The Gospel of John: Week Eight

Week Eight – Jesus the Risen Savior

In this final week, we will not only look to the passion narrative found in the book of John, but in all four Gospel accounts.  In this video, Dr. Bailey introduces the outline of this harmony, and begins the story.  This video will cover everything from the garden of Gethsemane to the trials, including Peter’s denials and Judas’s death.

Lesson Points

Throughout the passion narratives, Jesus claims His kingship, and others mock His kingship.
Jesus’s death fulfills Old Testament prophecy and inaugurates a new age.
Jesus did not rise again and leave in secret. He appeared to more than five-hundred people in ten different instances.

Worship Moment

The life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ is the high point of history.  Everything up to that point looked forward to it, and everything after that point has looked back at it.  It is the heart of the Gospel, and the basis for God’s plan of salvation.

Too often, we forget this amazing thing that God has done for us.  Let’s thank God for His amazing grace in saving us through the love of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions

Briefly describe the trial before Pilate. What is Pilate’s verdict for Jesus? How, then, was Jesus executed?
How does Psalm 22 fit into the crucifixion story?
What did Jesus do in His post-resurrection appearances to prove who He was?  Why are these actions significant?
Why is it important to study the Scriptures?
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