Monday, February 12, 2024

Remain  | John 15:1–17

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 | Remain  | John 15:1–17

Last week we finished John 14 and talked about evidence of our love for God. This week we remain in the Upper Room discourse from Jesus to His disciples. Our entire teaching is from Jesus. In our passage Jesus gives us another “I am” statement. Jesus says, “I am the true vine…” Most of us don't think of Jesus as a vine but the illustration is that we need to be connected to the vine. In a culture who thought with an agriculture mindset this was normal to them. For many of us we can relate to this because of all the agriculture around us. In our passage we will talk about remaining in Jesus and what pruning in our lives looks like. 

1) The 30-day minimalism game was invented by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn. They developed this game as a great way to jump-start the decluttering journey. Do you have parts of your house or life you’d like to declutter? 

2) In John 15:1 we read another “I am” statement from Jesus. This is the last “I am” statement Jesus makes. Read John 6:35, 8:12, 10:7, 11:25, and 14:6. What do you learn about the character and nature of Jesus from these different statements? 

3) Jesus says that God prunes away the parts of our life that do not bear fruit so we can be more fruitful for the Kingdom (read John 15:1-4). What are some areas of your life where you’d like Jesus to prune away so you can be more fruitful? 

4) Read John 15:5-8. The passage is repetitive about remaining in Jesus. Our culture isn’t great at being patient and sticking things through. Sometimes we just want to give up or quit. What have you learned about the value of not quitting but remaining? 

5) Jesus says that we can ask for whatever we want and it will be done for us (see John 15:7-8). Is Jesus giving us permission to ask for anything or is His statement a truth for those who are genuinely seeking to build the Kingdom? Could this statement be more about ministry than personal gain?  

6) Jesus teaches us that an outcome of remaining in Him is that we bear fruit. What does it look like for a Christian to bear fruit? Can you think of places in your life where you’re bearing fruit and places in your life that are fruitless? 

7) In John 13-15 we’ve seen a repetition on love (read John 13:34-35, 14:15, 23-24, and 15:13-17. Take some time as a group to read these verses and discuss what it looks like to a be a community of people who love others well. 

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

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