Week 11 Discussion – Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John

Published May 14, 2023

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Week 11 Discussion – Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John

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Welcome to our 12-week Bible study, Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John, covering the life, teachings, and miracles of Jesus. “Come and See” how the Gospel of John reveals the depth of God’s love and grace, and how it can transform your life.

Through this study, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus is, what he accomplished, and how to respond to him in faith, obedience, and love. You’ll also learn about his role as the Son of God and what his life and death mean for us today.

Each week, we’ll explore a different theme from the Gospel of John, including love, grace, and forgiveness. We’ll also take time to reflect on what it means to be a follower of Christ and how we can apply these teachings to our lives.

If you haven’t registered, no problem at all. Register now (yes, right now!) for this in-person Bible study and experience a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, fellowship with other believers, and the joy of growing in your faith as you share the Gospel of Jesus with others.

Week 11: Overview

Here’s a quick recap of what we covered in Week 11 using Justin Buzzard’s John: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible) as our weekly discussion guide:

  • Why Jesus demonstrated signs and miracles and the vastness and significance of Jesus’ ministry.
  • How Christians can deepen their own faith and more effectively share the gospel message with others.
  • Why and how Jesus uses physical elements to demonstrate spiritual truths and emphasizes the disciples’ calling to share the Gospel.
  • Learn the importance of Jesus’ three resurrection appearances to his disciples.
  • How Jesus offers and shows grace in the way He forgives, restores, and empowers us to be used for His purposes despite his flaws.
  • The importance of focusing on one’s own calling and trust in God’s plan.

John 20:30-31 states the purpose for which John wrote this Gospel. What major themes are touched upon in this purpose statement?

John 20:30-31 states the purpose of John’s Gospel, which is to provide an account of the signs and miracles Jesus performed so that readers may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing, may have eternal life. Thus, the major themes touched upon in this purpose statement include the divinity of Jesus, his role as the Savior of the world, the importance of belief in him, and the promise of eternal life for those who believe.

How should this purpose statement inform how Christians read, study, preach and interact with this book?

John 20:30-31 serves as a purpose statement that guides Christians in how they should read, study, preach, and interact with the Gospel of John. As a purpose statement, it highlights the major themes of the book and helps Christians understand its overarching message.

To read and study the book of John in light of this purpose statement, Christians should seek to understand the nature of Jesus’ identity and mission, as well as the role of faith in salvation. They should also recognize the importance of the signs and miracles that Jesus performed and the way that they point to his divinity.

In preaching, pastors and teachers can use this purpose statement to emphasize the significance of faith and belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and to encourage their congregation to place their trust in him.

Finally, in their interactions with the book of John, Christians can use this purpose statement to deepen their own faith and to share the gospel message with others. By understanding the book’s overarching message, they can more effectively communicate the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have yet to believe.

John 21 narrates the third resurrection appearance by Jesus recorded by John. Which disciples are present for this encounter? How do the disciples recognize Jesus?

In John 21, seven of the disciples are present for this encounter: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two other unnamed disciples.

The disciples recognize Jesus when he appears on the shore, but they do not initially realize that it is him. However, after Jesus instructs them to cast their net on the right side of the boat, they catch a large number of fish. It is at this point that John recognizes Jesus and tells Peter, who then jumps into the water and swims to shore to meet him.

What do you make of the fact that Jesus’ final resurrection appearance with his disciples is a breakfast meeting? What similarities do you see between this scene, Jesus’s first sign (John 2), and the famous sign recorded in John 6:1-15?

The fact that Jesus’ final resurrection appearance with his disciples is a breakfast meeting is significant in several ways. Firstly, it shows that Jesus is still human and has a physical body, as he eats and cooks fish for his disciples. This reinforces the reality of his bodily resurrection and counters any doubts or theories that his appearance to the disciples was merely a spiritual vision or hallucination.

Secondly, the breakfast meeting is a symbol of fellowship and community. Sharing a meal was an important aspect of Jewish culture, and Jesus often used mealtime as an opportunity to teach and interact with his followers. In this scene, Jesus is able to reconnect with his disciples and restore their relationship after the events of his crucifixion.

In terms of similarities with Jesus’ first sign in John 2 and the feeding of the 5,000 in John 6:1-15, all three scenes involve food and drink, and Jesus using these physical elements to demonstrate spiritual truths. In John 2, Jesus turns water into wine, symbolizing the new wine of the kingdom of God and the joy that comes from following him. In John 6, Jesus multiplies the loaves and fishes to feed the hungry crowd, demonstrating his power to provide for our physical needs and his identity as the bread of life.

Similarly, in John 21, Jesus provides the fish and bread for his disciples, reminding them of his provision and care for them. The breakfast meeting also serves as a reminder of the disciples’ calling to be fishers of men (Mark 1:17), as Jesus tells Peter to “feed my sheep” (John 21:17), emphasizing the importance of sharing the good news of the Gospel with others.

Think about the three resurrection appearances Jesus has made to his disciples (John 20:19-23; 20:24-29; 21:1-14)? What have each of these three appearances uniquely communicated?

The three resurrection appearances that Jesus made to his disciples in John’s Gospel communicate different things:

  • In John 20:19-23, Jesus appears to his disciples on the evening of the day of his resurrection. He shows them his wounds and gives them the gift of the Holy Spirit, empowering them to continue his mission on earth. This appearance communicates the reality of Jesus’ resurrection and the importance of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church.
  • In John 20:24-29, Jesus appears to Thomas, who was not present at the first appearance. Jesus invites Thomas to touch his wounds and encourages him to believe. This appearance communicates the importance of faith and trust in Jesus, even when we cannot see him.
  • In John 21:1-14, Jesus appears to his disciples by the Sea of Tiberias and performs a miracle, helping them catch a large number of fish. This appearance communicates the abundance and provision that Jesus offers to his disciples, as well as his care for their physical needs.

Together, these three appearances communicate the reality of Jesus’ resurrection, the importance of faith and trust in him, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit for mission, and the provision and care that Jesus offers to his followers.

Peter denied Jesus three times (John 18:15-18, 25-27). Here Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him (21:15-17). What is Jesus doing?

In John 21:15-17, Jesus is restoring Peter and reinstating him as a leader of his disciples. By asking Peter three times if he loves him, Jesus is providing Peter with an opportunity to reaffirm his love and commitment to Jesus, after his earlier denial. This conversation also serves to reconcile Peter with Jesus, as Jesus forgives Peter for his previous denial and encourages him to “feed my sheep” (John 21:17), indicating that he has an important role to play in the future of the Christian movement.

Instructing Peter to “feed my sheep,” Jesus gives Peter his calling to shepherd the church. How do you see grace in this dialogue between Jesus and Peter and in the responsibility Jesus gives to Peter?

In this dialogue between Jesus and Peter, we can see grace in the way Jesus forgives, restores, and empowers Peter in this dialogue and in the responsibility he gives him to shepherd the church. 

First, despite Peter’s denial of him, Jesus reinstates him and entrusts him with the important responsibility of shepherding the church. This shows that Jesus is willing to forgive and extend grace to those who have failed him, as he did with Peter.

Second, the repeated question and responses between Jesus and Peter can be seen as an act of grace. By asking Peter if he loves him three times and allowing Peter to affirm his love each time, Jesus is giving Peter the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to him and to overcome his previous denials. This shows Jesus’ willingness to restore and heal Peter’s relationship with him.

Finally, the responsibility that Jesus gives to Peter to shepherd his sheep is also an act of grace. Despite Peter’s past failures and shortcomings, Jesus trusts him to lead and care for his followers. This demonstrates Jesus’ belief in Peter’s potential and his desire to use him for his purposes, despite his flaws.

After being handed his calling from Jesus, Peter asks Jesus about the calling on John’s life. What does this scene teach us about the unique callings God gives His people? What lessons are Jesus’ words of response to Peter’s question meant to teach him, and us through him?

This scene in John 21:20-23 teaches us that God gives unique callings to His people, and that it is not our place to compare our calling with others or to be envious of the callings of others. Jesus’ words to Peter emphasize that each person has a specific purpose and calling from God, and it is up to them to fulfill it to the best of their ability.

Jesus’ response to Peter’s question suggests that Peter should focus on his own calling and not worry about what God has called others to do. He says, “What is that to you? You must follow me.” This teaches us to focus on our own journey and trust that God has a plan for each of us. We should not compare ourselves to others or be envious of what they are doing, but rather be faithful to what God has called us to do.

Furthermore, Jesus’ words remind us that each person’s calling is unique and individualized. God may call one person to be a shepherd and another to be a teacher, and these callings may look very different from each other. It is not up to us to judge or compare these callings, but to trust that God has a purpose for each person’s life and to follow Him obediently.

John beautifully ends his Gospel with statements that stir the imagination. How does John 21:25 affect your imagination? What is the verse communicating about the ministry of Jesus?

John 21:25 reminds us of the profound mystery and wonder of God’s love and the endless depths of his grace. John 21:25 reads, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” This verse is a reflection on the vastness of Jesus’ ministry and the impossibility of fully capturing it in writing. It emphasizes the greatness and majesty of Jesus and his significance to the world.

For Christians, this verse should spark our imaginations as we try to picture the countless acts of love, compassion, and miracles that Jesus performed during his time on earth. It also highlights the ongoing impact of Jesus’ life and teachings, which continue to influence and transform the lives of people around the world.

Each of the Gospel writers communicates something unique to their audience with the ending of the their Gospel. How does John’s ending affect you, and how is this different from the endings of the other Gospel accounts?

John’s ending of the Gospel is unique compared to the other Gospel accounts. While the other Gospels end with the ascension of Jesus or the Great Commission, John’s Gospel ends with a statement that emphasizes the boundlessness of Jesus’ ministry and the impossibility of fully recording it. This statement leaves the reader with a sense of awe and wonder, inviting them to continue exploring the person and work of Jesus Christ. The open-endedness of the statement also implies an ongoing and personal relationship with Jesus that extends beyond the pages of the Gospel. In contrast, the other Gospel accounts provide a more definitive conclusion to the narrative and emphasize the commissioning of the disciples to continue Jesus’ work on earth.

Don’t forget to read through the three sections in Week 11 of Justin Buzzard’s John: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible) on Gospel Glimpses, Whole-Bible Connections, and Theological Soundings. Then take time to reflect on the Personal Implications these sections are likely to have on your walk and relationship with Lord Christ Jesus and his people.

Take a moment now to ask for the Lord’s blessing and help as you engage in this study of John. And take a moment also to look back through this unit of study, to reflect on a few key things that the Lord may be teaching you — and perhaps to highlight or underline these to review again in the future.

We hope these notes have been helpful in catching up on what we’ve covered so far. We’re excited to continue our study of John together next week in Week 12!

In the meantime, explore a very engaging animation video from the Bible Project team that explains the first twelve chapters of the Gospel of John. Additionally, you can read Mark L. Strauss’ article John: The Gospel of the Eternal Son Who Reveals the Father.”

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