Week 4 Discussion – Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John

Published March 31, 2023

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Week 4 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 4: Overview

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

  • Why Jesus clears the temple and how it foreshadows his ultimate sacrifice as fulfilled in Solomon’s prayer.
  • What is means to be born into the kingdom of God as witnessed in a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus.
  • Learn about why salvation is freely made available to everyone, and truly how costly salvation is for God.
  • Learn about the power and authority of Jesus speaking into our lives.

In John 2:12-25, Jesus’ first major confrontation with the Jewish leaders in John’s Gospel occurs as Jesus clears the Jerusalem temple during the Jewish Passover. Why did Jesus clear the temple, in light of the true purpose of the temple? What does this scene teach us about Jesus?

Jesus cleared the temple because people had turned it into a marketplace, buying and selling animals for sacrifice and exchanging money for temple coins, turning a holy place into a den of robbers. 

This scene shows Jesus’ zeal for the holiness of God’s house and his authority as the Son of God. It also foreshadows his coming sacrifice as the true temple, the ultimate meeting place between God and humanity.

After cleansing the temple, Jesus converses with the Jewish leaders and makes a statement about his approaching death and resurrection, as well as about his identity as the true and better temple for God’s people. Skim through Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple (2 Chronicles 6:12-42). In what ways do you see Jesus as the ultimate answer to this prayer?

Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple in 2 Chronicles 6:12-42 highlights the desire for God’s presence to dwell among his people. 

Jesus’ identity as the true and better temple shows how God’s presence is not confined to a physical building but can be found in the person of Jesus Christ. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus became the ultimate means for people to have access to God’s presence and to be reconciled with him.

How would you explain the difference between the baptism performed by John and the baptizing Jesus came to do?

While John’s baptism was a physical act of cleansing for repentance and forgiveness of sins, Jesus’ baptism was a spiritual experience that unites believers with Christ and empowers us to live a new life through the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ baptism also involved his death and resurrection, making it a symbol of our participation in His victory over sin and death.

In John 3:1-36, Nicodemus is a Pharisee, a respected scholar among the Jews, who approaches Jesus “by night.”  Why might Nicodemus have approached Jesus at night?  How and why does Jesus steer the conversation in the direction that he does?

Nicodemus may have approached Jesus at night to avoid opposition from peers as well as being seen by other Jewish leaders who did not believe in Jesus or to have a private conversation with Jesus. 

In the conversation, Jesus steers Nicodemus towards the idea of being “born again” as a requirement for eternal life, emphasizing the need for spiritual rebirth through faith in Him rather than relying on religious knowledge or ritualistic practices.

According to John 3:3, what must happen for someone to see the kingdom of God? According to 3:4-8, what must happen for someone to be born again?

Jesus says that no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. Jesus explains to Nicodemus that to be born again, one must be born of water and the Spirit — a spiritual rebirth via the Spirit of God and not simply a physical water birth.

John 3:16 is probably the most well-known verse in the Bible.  If this were the only verse we had, what would we know about God and salvation?

From John 3:16, we would understand that God loved the world greatly and demonstrated it by sending His Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of those who believe in him, granting them both eternal and abundant life.

In John 4:1-45, Jesus does something scandalous for a first-century Jewish rabbi: he enters into a compassionate dialogue with a Samaritan woman with a questionable past.  Jesus is always doing things like this, crossing boundaries to show that God’s grace is not limited to a certain type of person.  According to Jesus, salvation is for sinners.  In other words, salvation is for everyone.  What does this scene teach us about what Jesus is like, and what does it teach us about salvation?

Jesus teaches us that he is compassionate, inclusive, and willing to engage with anyone, regardless of their past or social standing. He also teaches us that salvation is available to everyone, not just to a certain group of people. 

Through his conversation with the Samaritan woman, Jesus reveals that he is the Messiah, and he invites her to believe in him and receive the living water that leads to eternal life. This scene shows us that salvation is not limited to those who are considered righteous or worthy by society’s standards but is available to all who put their faith in Jesus.

In John 4:1-45, what does the woman do after her encounter with Jesus what do we learn from this?

After her encounter with Jesus, the woman goes back to her village and tells everyone about Jesus, saying, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.” We learn that the woman is convinced of Jesus’ identity as a prophet, and that she becomes a witness to others about him, leading many to believe in Jesus.

John has shown Jesus bringing the gospel to a respected Jewish teacher (John 3:1-21), then to an outcast Samaritan woman (4:1-42), and now to an official working for the Roman government (4:46-54).  This drives home the truth that the good news of God’s grace is available for all types of people, to everyone in the world.  Reflecting on these three different people, consider how they each respond to Jesus.  What do their responses to Jesus teach us about how we should respond to the Son of God?

Nicodemus responded to Jesus with curiosity and sought to understand more about Him, the Samaritan woman responded with joy and excitement, and the royal official responded with faith and trust. 

These responses teach us that we should approach Jesus with an open heart and mind, seek to know Him more deeply, rejoice in His grace and love, and ultimately trust in Him for salvation. 

In John 4:46-54, how did Jesus heal the official’s son?  What is John communicating to us about the power of Jesus’ words?

Jesus heals the official’s son from a distance simply by speaking a word of healing, demonstrating His power and authority over sickness and disease. John is communicating to us that Jesus’ words have supernatural power to heal and bring about transformation in people’s lives.

Don’t forget to read through the three sections in Week 4 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 5!

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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