(Discuss again the questions in the “Overview,” plus the questions afterwards.)
(Discuss these OVERVIEW questions both at the beginning of your study of John, and again after you’ve studied together all 21 chapters. Your answers may change significantly once you’ve looked more closely at the entire book.)
Startup: Talk together about memorable experiences in your lives which taught you the importance of telling the truth.
1. To learn more about the author of this gospel, the apostle John, look together at Mark 1:19-20; 3:17, and 10:35-40; Luke 9:52-56. From this evidence, what kind of person would you guess John to be? And what differences in John’s life do you think his friends were probably talking about after John decided to follow Jesus?
2. In this gospel, John describes himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Look together at the following passages where this term is used, and discuss what they reveal about John’s personality and about his relationship with Jesus: 13:22-25; 19:25-27; 20:1-9; 21:4-8, and 21:19-24.
3. How would you explain the meaning of the word light in verse 4 to someone who had been blind since birth?
4. Compare the way in which this gospel begins (John 1:1-18), with the way the other three gospels begin (in Matt 1:1-17, Mark 1:1, and Luke 1:1-4). What do these different “start-up styles” tell you about the purpose of each gospel?
5. The Greek word usually translated as believe in English is found 79 times in the gospel of John—always as a verb, never as a noun (belief). Scan this gospel together (or you may want to divide your efforts by having each person in the group look over a certain chapter or chapters), and find four to six instances where the word is used. What would you say John wants us to understand about this term?
6. Another word John uses often in this gospel (25 times) is the word truth. Scan the book together (or you may want to divide your efforts by having each person in the group look over a certain chapter or chapters), and find three or four instances where the word is used in the book. What does John want us to understand about truth?
7. Look together at a verse in another book by John: 1 John 2:6. What goals and motivation can this verse give you as you begin studying the life of Christ as recorded in John’s gospel?
8. How can you ensure that your study of John is not merely theoretical and intellectual, but is instead truly practical and relevant? Talk together about this. What can you do to help keep the process alive and interesting?
Bible teachers often present John as the gospel that especially presents Jesus as “the Son of God”; in John, the divinity of Jesus is clearly apparent along with His humanity. From what you know of all four gospels, how does this emphasis in John come through, especially in comparison with the other three gospels?
1. Look together at each of these passages, and discuss which one you believe is the best candidate for “KEY VERSE” in the book of John—the one which brings into sharpest focus what this book is most about: 1:11-13; 3:16; 5:24; 10:10,11; 11:25; and 20:30-31.
2. What verses or passages in John’s gospel present the strongest evidence to you that Jesus will be coming back to earth?
3. Even more than the other gospel writers, John is said to be a skilled theologian. How would you evaluate his theological skills, as you’ve observed them in this book?
4. What would you say are the strongest themes in the way John portrays Jesus Christ?
5. What would you say are the most important ways in which this book is unique in all the Bible?
6. In James 1:23-24 we’re told that “anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” In what important ways has the book of John been a “mirror” for you—showing you what you can and should do?
(from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament, © 1992 by Questar Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)

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