(Way Truth Life)
Pastor Greg continues his 10-part message series called “Hello My Name is Jesus.” He’s highlighting ten different times in Scripture when Jesus told us clearly who He is by using the words “I Am…” This week, Pastor Greg digs deeper into what Jesus meant when He said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-19
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” ~ John 13:36
Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” ~ John 13:37
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times. ~ John 13:38
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” ~ John 14:1-4
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” ~ John 14:5
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14:6
If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” ~ John 14:7
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” ~ John 14:8
Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. ~ John 14:9-11
An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. ~ Matthew 16:4
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable!” ~ Brennan Manning
ALOHA GROUP QUESTIONS
PASTOR G WARNING: This is a HEAVY discussion that can bring up some intense emotions. Be especially careful to be gentle with each other on your answers, don’t judge, remember everyone is at a different place in the journey.
READ: 1 Corinthians 15:1-19
1) As you read Paul’s very brief summary of the Gospel here is there anything that was new to you, that you don’t remember hearing before? Is there any part of it you are not sure if you believe? If so, what?
2) Paul indicates that all of these pieces of the story are equally important and necessary, the foundations of the faith of Christianity. Do you agree or disagree? Why? If someone says it’s not necessary to believe all of these things to be a Christian, how would you respond?
3) Paul says if all of this is not true then their preaching is in vain, and our faith is in vain? Why is that? Do you agree or disagree?
4) Paul says “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” Why do you think he feels that way? Do you agree with him? Why or why not?
READ: John 13:36-38
1) When Peter expressed his desire to follow Jesus wherever He was going next why do you think he wanted to go? Do you think Peter was sincere in his promise to lay down his life for Jesus? What do you think he meant by “lay down my life?” Did he mean he would die for him, that he would give up everything he had if necessary? Both? Explain.
2) When Jesus, in that very moment, predicted that Peter would deny even knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crowed the next morning, welcoming the dawn, what do you think Peter thought? At this point Dawn was less than 10-12 hours away. What were the odds that Peter would have the opportunity to deny Jesus three different times? What would you have said if you were in Peter’s position?
3) Do you think it’s ever possible that you might “deny knowing Jesus” in your life? What circumstances would be necessary for you to do so? If ISIS captured you and had you kneeling and said they were going to behead you unless you renounced your faith in Jesus (as they have many Christians) do you feel like you would deny Him or would you choose martyrdom? Explain your thought process.
4) Has there ever been a non “life threatening” time in your life when you felt like you denied or betrayed Him? How did you recover?
READ: John 14:1-6
1) Where is “The Father’s House” that Jesus is taking about? What does He mean that is has “many rooms?” What does He mean He is going and way to prepare a place for us but will come back to receive us to Himself so that we can be there too? If you had to explain this to a non Christian friend who had never heard this before how would you make it clear to them?
2) Why does Jesus tell them they know the way to where He is going? What is the way? How can I be sure that I will get to where Jesus is going?
3) Jesus says He is the Only Way, and the Only Truth and the Only Life and the only way to get to the Father. Years ago Oprah had a famous episode of her talk show where she denied Jesus and asked her audience “How could there possibly only be one way?” She indicated there were many different, all equally valid, ways to God however you perceived Him or Her to be. What do you say to your friend who is of a different religion or maybe an agnostic who agrees with Oprah or maybe thinks there way is the only right way and that Jesus is not the true God?
READ: John 14:7-11
1) Jesus is making a clear claim of divinity here. He says He and the Father are one, that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father. Do you believe that? Why or why not? Of course, the disciples who were hearing this were literally seeing Him in the flesh at the time. How does this passage of Scripture effect us now, almost 2,000 years later? Is it possible for us to still “see” Jesus and therefore “see“ the Father? Why or why not?
2) We’ve talked about the Trinity before in these groups, that our God is one God, yet He is three Persons who have one essence. Do you struggle with that idea? How can Jesus and God be the same, be in each other and yet Jesus is standing in a room with the disciples saying He will take them to His Father’s house which is evidently somewhere else entirely? How can they be the same and yet be different and seem to be in different places? How does the Trinity work?
READ: Matthew 16:4
1) What did Jesus mean that it was evil to seek after signs? What was the “sign of Jonah” that He did give them and us? Why did He call it that?
READ: The Quote By Brennan Manning Pastor G shared in the notes.
1) Do you agree with Brennan that this is the greatest single cause of atheism in the world today? Why or why not? What can we as Christians do differently to better convince atheists that Jesus’ is the one true way?