January 2024 Discussion Questions
Week 1: John 11:1–57
- Jesus could have gone immediately to the city of Bethany when He heard that Lazarus was sick. If His timing was not an accident, why did Jesus wait four days before visiting Lazarus?
- When Jesus says He will wake Lazarus up from his sleep, He is making a profound statement about His view of death and the power He has over life. What does this passage teach about death and the hope that Christians have in the resurrection?
- What does this passage reveal about prayer in verses 41–42?
- Jesus teaches that God can be glorified in any situation. What’s a situation in your life where God was glorified even though you endured sadness or pain?
Week 2: John 12:1–50
- When Mary anointed the feet of Jesus, this gift was equal to a year of wages and was likely the most valuable possession Mary owned. Imagine you were in the room, what do you think this moment would have been like to see Mary wiping the feet of Jesus with her hair?
- Seeing the miracles and signs of Jesus, many people believed in Him; yet some were unwilling to follow Jesus out of fear of the religious leaders. In the Jewish culture, following Jesus resulted in exclusion from the synagogue and forfeiting all social standing. This would mean giving up business deals, severing relationships, throwing away inheritance and losing credibility in the community. How would you tell someone that following Jesus is worth it?
- How are you tempted to love the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God (see vs 43)?
Week 3: John 13:1–38
- What does Jesus model by washing the feet of His disciples? How do we apply this today?
- Judas has been plotting to betray Jesus for some time, yet this wasn’t obvious to the other disciples since nobody instinctively knew who might betray Jesus. Likewise, this passage also reveals that Peter will deny Jesus three times even though Peter refuses to believe he would ever do this. What’s similar and different between the betrayal of Judas versus Peter?
- Jesus says one of the greatest ways to witness to the world is by our love for each other. How have you seen Christians love one another and how does this influence nonbelievers?
Week 4: John 14:1–31
- In verse one Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled”. The word troubled carries the idea of being stirred up with chaos, confusion, uncertainty or doubt. Examine the condition of your own heart. Is your heart troubled? If so, how?
- In verse 27, Jesus promises peace to His disciples to calm their anxious hearts. How is the peace that comes from Jesus better than the peace that comes from the world?
- At the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus ascended to heaven and left behind a few dozen followers in an isolated part of Israel. What do you think Jesus means in verse 12 when He says whoever believes in Him will do even greater works than Him?
- What stands out to you from this passage about the promise of the Holy Spirit?
February 2024 Discussion Questions
Week 5: John 15:1–26
- On the night He was betrayed and hours before His arrest, Jesus taught His disciples a metaphor about a vine and its branches. Why does Jesus use this picture to illustrate what it looks like to remain connected to Him? Why is the timing of this important?
- God doesn’t hack away at your life inflicting unnecessary suffering or pain. He prunes you to produce new growth. How have you responded to seasons of God’s pruning in your life?
- Abiding in Jesus results in joy. If you want to experience supernatural joy, the source comes from remaining connected to Jesus. Why is this truth about joy so important to the Christian life? Why is the timing of this teaching astonishing?
- As a Christian, how should you respond to a world that hates you?
Week 6: John 16:1–33
- What does this passage say about the role of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life?
- Jesus says we don’t have to be anxious or afraid. As a Christian, how does the Bible help manage your expectations of the world? How does this bring encouragement and comfort rather than surprise you or instill fear?
- Has God ever brought you joy out of sorrows (16:21)?
- What does Jesus mean when He says, “I have overcome the world”? How does this statement fill you with hope?
Week 7: John 17:1–26
- Imagine that you are one of the disciples and after months of hearing Jesus say that His time has not yet come, He opens a prayer to the Father with “the hour has come” (vs 1). What do you think is coming?
- John 17 is a prayer as Jesus reflects on His time with His disciples and looks ahead to future believers who will carry on His ministry. Do you think it’s odd that Jesus doesn’t make any requests for Himself even though He is minutes away from being arrested? What does this tell you about Jesus and the way He views Himself and His followers?
- What are some takeaways regarding prayer that you see in this passage?
- As Jesus prays for His disciples, He also prays for you and everyone who will believe in Him. Read the following verses: Romans 8:34, 1 John 2:1 and Hebrews 7:35. How does Jesus speak to the Father on your behalf? What stands out to you with this truth?
Week 8: John 18:1–14
- Jesus was not a helpless victim or courageous martyr. Jesus gave Himself up and freely surrendered. Why is this important and how does this truth stand out as Jesus is arrested?
- Put yourself in the shoes of Judas. What do you think is going through his mind as he betrays Jesus?
- Jesus wasn’t the only person betrayed by Judas, the disciples were also betrayed by their friend and shocked by what Judas did. What’s at the heart of betrayal and why does it hurt so deeply when you are betrayed by someone you love? How should you respond to the betrayal?
March 2024 Discussion Questions
Week 9: John 18:15–27
- As a biography of Jesus, all four gospels record a similar scene of Peter denying Jesus three times. What stands out in each account? (Read Matthew 26:69–75, Mark 14:66–72 & Luke 22:54–62)
- When questioned by the high priest, Jesus responded that He taught openly and consistently. He denied the accusation of plotting a conspiracy in private with His disciples. What do the religious leaders have against Jesus? What are they most concerned about?
- What are some ways you have seen Peter embody immense faith and courage in following Jesus? Why do you think Peter turns so quickly on Jesus and denies knowing Him?
- As we anticipate Easter, who has the Lord brought into your life that needs the hope of Jesus? Spend time praying for boldness and ask God to give you an opportunity to encourage this person in their journey of faith.
Week 10: John 18:28–40
- All four gospels provide a unique perspective into the life of Jesus. What stands out as Jesus appears before Pilate in each gospel? (Read Matthew 27:11–14, Mark 15:1–5 & Luke 23:1–17)
- What stands out in each gospel as the crowds shout for the release of Barabbas? How is Barabbas described in each gospel? (Read Matthew 27:15–23, Mark 15:6–15 & Luke 23:18–25)
- From the beginning, Jesus knew what kind of death He would die (18:32). How would knowing your death, both how you will die and when you will die, change the way you live?
- Like Pilate, who is someone in your life that is questioning or searching for truth (18:38)? What is one truth from the gospel of John that you want to pray over this person?
Week 11: John 19:1–16
- According to the Old Testament, the crime of blasphemy would result in death by stoning. In the first century, the Jewish leaders didn’t have the authority to impose the death penalty. How do the religious leaders manipulate Pilate to crucify Jesus by the title King of the Jews?
- Why is it shocking when the chief priests claim to have “no king but Caesar” (19:15)?
- Not only did Jesus come to the earth as the conquering King, but also He chose to be the crucified King. Take a few minutes to sit in this moment and reflect on Jesus preparing for the cross.
- As you anticipate Easter, pray that God will prepare people to hear the gospel and receive it.
Week 12: John 19:17–42
- Familiarity can often breed complacency. As you reflect on the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus, what is new or something you’ve never noticed? (Read Matthew 27:27–66, Mark 15:16–47 & Luke 23:26–59)
- In some of His final words, Jesus speaks to His mother and the disciple John (19:26–27). Why do you think John includes this personal moment right before the cross?
- As we read through the gospel of John, it’s easy to get caught up in the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders and all of the details of the story. When Jesus says His final words, “It is finished”, what is the bigger story of what Jesus completed with His death on the cross?
- Take time to pray and thank the Lord for the gifts of salvation, redemption and forgiveness.
Week 13: John 20:1–18
- Without the resurrection of Jesus, we have no hope as Christians. How do the gospel authors portray the resurrection and empty tomb? Compare the similarities and differences by reading Matthew 28:1–15, Mark 16:1–8 & Luke 24:1–12.
- Step into the shoes of the disciples as Peter and John ran to see the empty tomb. What are the disciples thinking as they returned to their homes (20:10)?
- When Jesus spoke to Mary by name, she immediately exchanged weeping with worship. Has there ever been a time when your emotions completely reversed? What does this feel like?
- Reflect on Easter and the joy of our risen Lord. Why do we celebrate in such an extravagant way?