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Community Group Questions | John 7.16-31 - Do you know the real Jesus? | Mar 8, 2020

Do you know the real Jesus?
Rev. Scott Mitchell, Pastor of Community Formation

God intends to change you by His Word. How is He at work in you to do that?  Read the following passage and consider these questions. 


John 7:16-31 (ESV)

16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”


QUESTIONS (40 minutes)

1.  How would you describe the interaction between Jesus and the crowds?

2. What did the crowds think of Jesus and why?

3. Why would the crowds believe Jesus in this passage (v. 31) but walk away from him in a similar instance in Galilee (6:66)? [Try to avoid owing it all to election.]

4. Pastor Scott spoke of a difference between Phantom Jesus and Real Jesus. Phantom Jesus is largely made up, whether in our minds or in our traditions. Real Jesus is the Jesus of history. Where today do you see people turning to Phantom Jesus instead of Real Jesus?

5. Pastor Scott didn't mention this concept by name but did appeal to it: moral therapeutic deism (MTD). MTD is the belief that God wants people to be nice to each other, the central goal of life is to be happy, and good people go to heaven when they did. How does Biblical Christianity contrast with MTD?

6. If you remember becoming a Christian, tell your group what was *promised* to you if you became a Christian.

7. In what ways do we subtly think we will grow in our discipleship apart from the means of grace (ministry of the word, sacraments, and prayer)?


PRAYER (15 minutes) 

Take prayer requests. Pray together that you may grow deeper in the knowledge that God's word reveals Him to us.