Thursday, May 02, 2024

Pilate on Trial | John 18:28-40

The Gospel of John is a unique and powerful account of the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Written by John, one of Jesus' closest disciples, this gospel presents a deep and thoughtful perspective on the person and work of Jesus. Unlike the other three gospels, which are known as the Synoptic Gospels and focus on Jesus' actions and teachings, John's gospel emphasizes the spiritual and theological significance of Jesus' life and ministry. For this series I will write some of the small group questions that go along with each sermon. It seemed like a waste to leave them in a file on my computer and not share them with everyone.

Small Group Questions | Pilate on Trial | John 18:28-40 

John 18-21 primarily focus on the arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. John 18 focuses on the unfair, unjust, midnight trail of Jesus. The first half of John 18 focuses on the Jewish part of the trial while the second half focuses on the Roman part of the trial. In our passage today we will see Jesus brought to the second phase of His trail. In our text Jesus is brought before Pilate for the Roman part of His trail. To best understand our passage today we need to put on the lens of a first century lawyer. Understanding the legal system of the first century will help us understand this passage best. Think about the sermon and work through these questions as a group. 

1) Every healthy society has good rules. If you look at the safest cities in the world it is because they have good rules in place. What are some of the safest and least safe countries in the world? Talk about the difference we see in these places. 

2) We learned three parts of Jesus’ trial were illegal: It was done through treachery and without the appropriate paperwork, It started with a private hearing from Annas the High Priest, and it broke Jewish Law. How does knowing this make you feel? 

3)Read John 18:28-32. History never painted Pilate as a compassionate man but it seems he wanted nothing to do with the trial of Jesus. Read Matthew 27:19, Mark 15:1, and Luke 23:13-16. What do these verses teach us about Jesus’ innocence? 

4) The Jewish leaders brought charges against Jesus. Read John 4:25-26, 5:16-18,  and Matthew 22:15-22. Jesus claimed to be God, healed on the Sabbath, and talked about tax laws. Are these charges worthy of death? Why or why not? 

5) Read John 18:32-38. Pilate engaged Jesus in a conversation that was dripping with legal sense. This interaction teaches us about the legal trial Jesus endured. Where does this passage give you the hope of heaven and Jesus’ coming Kingdom? 

6) Jesus told Pilate that His Kingdom was a from another place. Take some time in your group to talk about what matters most to kings on the earth (land, people, taxes, ETC) and what is Jesus’ primary focus of His Kingdom? 

7) Jesus said, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” What does the Bible teach us about truth (Exodus 20:16, Titus 1:2, John 14:6, and 2 Timothy 2:15)? Think about how our world would be different if everyone told the truth. How has the truth of God transformed the way you live your life? 

Close your time in prayer. Pray for strength to invite a friend to meet Jesus. 

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