Lessons Learned from Negative Responses to Jesus
A lesson from the garden – Judas (John 18:2-3)
- Judas wanted control – premeditated betrayal. Motivated by greed, or his desire that Jesus would bring about a military messiah, or simply he had his own agenda, favoring self.
- He had an unrepentant heart, John 6:7.
- Matthew 26:15, he acted out his desire for control.
- Matthew 26:16, secretly looked for opportunities to arrest Jesus.
- John 18:2-3, Judas leading the Romans and Temple officials to Jesus.
- Luke 22:48, Judas walked over to kiss Jesus to betray him.
- Then he had remorse for what he had done.
- Then killed himself. What a tragic lesson.
- Jesus was in control of the situation at every step.
- John 18:4, they showed up, Jesus stepped out to meet them. Admits he is Jesus, yet Judas still kissed him. John 10:18, no one takes my life, I lay it down.
- John 17:1, my time has come.
- He took initiative that he lost none the Father had given him.
- My life – I can attempt to control or surrender control to Jesus. You know your own personal area of desired control…
- Don’t be anxious about tomorrow – Matthew 6:34
- With God all things are possible – Matthew 19:26
- Do not be dismayed, I will uphold you – Isaiah 41:10
- We have blessings according to HIS purposes – Ephesians 1:11
A lesson from the court scene – Peter (John 18:15-17, 25-27) – the servant girl recognized him as a disciple of Jesus. You are one, too. A door of opportunity to witness of Jesus.
- Peter prioritized his interests by hiding his identity, bold in the garden but now this? Is it better to be covert? Self-preservation? If you want to know more about me, ask my disciples, I talk them my truth. Come out from among them, 2 Corinthians 6:17. Then came the relative of the one whom he cut off the ear…
- Jesus – his truths clearly distinguished his followers.
- My life – the only way to be right is to be identified with Jesus, God’s word reminds us that be belong. What location are we tempted to hide our identity? Or what situation?
- If we live or die it is for the Lord, Romans 14:8
- We are one body, 1 Corinthians 12:13
A lesson from the governor’s palace – Pilate (John 18:33-40) – king of the Jews, who told you this? My kingdom is not of this world.
- Pilate attempts to remain neutral about Jesus.
- John 18:31 – not a Jew, nothing to do with me – passing the buck based on nationality.
- John 18:38 – the custom to release one – appeal to tradition.
- John 18 – his appeal to the crowd, deferred the decision to others.
- Jesus – his life calls for a response from every person.
- My Life – How will I respond to Jesus right now. What am I doing when I see Jesus for who he is? But right now. Peter said long ago, “I’ll follow,” but what about right now? My response to this truth… David Brook study – USA culture vs culture of Japan… decisions we make vs decisions others make. We decide on our own, but they involve community. It is vital to surrender to Jesus as Lord.
LIFE GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
For September 12, 2018
Welcome – Greeting / Get Going
- Go around the room and introduce ourselves and mention one thing that few people know about you.
- As a child, what was one “big” thing you messed up on? Missing the catch for the final out? Forgetting a crucial line in the school play? Leaving something behind, never to be recovered?
- Who is someone you would say is “well connected with the right people”?
- Who is someone you would describe as being loyal?
- When was a time you got caught lying as a child?
Worship – Prayer / Praise
- Read aloud John 18:15-18, 25-27
- Pray the Scripture Back to God – As Simon Peter and this other disciple were following Jesus, we pray that we will follow Jesus into the difficult places. While we are impressed that one of Jesus’ disciples was so connected to the High Priest, remind us how awesome it is to be fully known by the one true and living God. In this story we are reminded of the peril of being alone, left outside, so convict us of the importance of living in community with fellow believers, and give us the courage to take a stand for Jesus even when it is tough. Please don’t allow us to stand around with those who will tempt us to compromise our values and beliefs. Give us strength and confidence as we follow after our Savior. Lord Jesus, remind us that as we go through life, people can spot us as having been with Jesus, so let our light shine rather than shrinking back into the shadows. Allow your Holy Spirit to remind us of the stories we read in the New Testament and let your people serve as an example for us and other to serve as a warning for us.
Word – Digging Deeper
- John leaves out some details between verses 1 and 2. Anyone remember the rest of the story? What happens between John 18:1 and 18:2? (Matthew 26:37-38, Mark 14:34-35)
- Do you see any similarities between this garden and the Garden of Eden where the first Adam lived?
- The first Adam began life in a garden. The second Adam came at the end of his life to a garden.
- In Eden Adam sinned. In Gethsemane the Savior overcame sin.
- In Eden Adam fell. In Gethsemane Jesus conquered.
- In Eden Adam hid himself. In Gethsemane our Lord boldly presented himself.
- In Eden the sword was drawn. In Gethsemane it was sheathed.
- JUDAS: It is in our nature to desire to control things. What are some examples of where our desire to control went against what Jesus wanted for us? Name some examples of when you allowed Jesus’ to control the outcome and surrendered to his will.
- Why do we struggle to give Jesus control of our lives? Will he ask us to do something we don’t want to do? Will he move us out of our comfort zone? Why is it difficult to let “Jesus take the wheel?”
- How is control exhibited by a parent over their child similar to the control Jesus wants over us?
- Surrendering control is about trust. Name some ways that we trust Jesus with our lives.
- PETER: What do you think that Peter and the other disciple hoped to do? (John 18:15)
- Why do you think Peter had to wait outside? (John 18:16)?
- Why did this girl suspect Peter of being a disciple? (John 18:17) Why did she not suspect this “other” disciple as being a follower of Jesus?
- How did Peter reply to the question about his association with Jesus? (John 18:17)?
- How do you account for the difference in Peter from John 18:10 to John 18:17?
- In what ways do we put our own interests ahead of Jesus? How does fear stifle our faith?
- Do we hold back at work out of fear or because it is against company policy to talk about matters of faith?
- If fear can derail our faith, how can the flip-side of fear, pride, do the same?
- Name a few ways that we can demonstrate to the world that we have faith in Jesus? How is it becoming increasingly difficult to live out our faith in 2018 America?
- What are some lessons for us in Peter’s denials?
- Peter responds with on oath (Matthew 26:72), perhaps out of a growing desperation and irritation.
- Peter finally responds with cursing (Matthew 26:74), perhaps showing us what we don’t want to see in ourselves, the darkness of the human heart. This shows what people are capable of doing even after a glorious confession and swearing allegiance to following Jesus (John 13:37).
- Peter’s experience (denial and restoration) teaches about the type of people Jesus came to save. Jesus did not die for sinless people!
- PILATE: What are a few ways that we attempt to remain neutral in our faith? Is silence the same a denial? Explain.
- Is it truth that Jesus desire for us to be hot or cold, and that anything lukewarm is sickening to Jesus? (Revelation 3:15-16). So, where do you stand today?
- When was a time that you were more passionate about Jesus? What changed? Why to Christians generally become cold over time? How might we remain “hot” for Jesus?
- What role does the Holy Spirit have in our being full of Jesus? (Ephesians 5:18)
Work – Ministry / Missions / Motivation
- How does this story of Peter both humble and encourage you?
- In what ways are these three men examples for us (positive and negative examples)?
- When was the last time you felt like Peter?
- What inside connections do you have in the church? How do you use your inside connections in the church and elsewhere?
- Into what potentially dangerous situations has your faith gotten you?
- Under what circumstances might you be tempted to deny knowing Jesus?
- When and why have you denied knowing Jesus by either your words or your life-style?
- How do you explain the ups and downs in your spiritual life?
Witness – His Story / My Story
- How can you use your inside connections to benefit others this week?
- What can you do to affirm your relationship with Jesus Christ in front of others?
- In what areas of your life do you want to express your loyalty to Jesus more openly?
- In what ways are you discipling other people? Who is on you evangelism prayer list?
- What will you recall about this message or this Life Group discuss? What is your “take away”?
- How can we support one another in prayer this week?
Ways to Apply Scripture
- Actions: God-directed, not self-directed
- Character: attitudes, behaviors, habits, speech, motives
- Thinking: have the mind of Christ, a renewed mind and spirit, able to discern truth from error
- Biblical Worldview: able to teach, explain, and model Scripture
- Priorities: seeking first his kingdom