The stories found in the Gospel accounts make a kaleidoscope of claims about Jesus. Whether listening to a parable or a dialog between Jesus and others, the hearer is given a new perspective for understanding who He is. But in the most profound cases, Jesus asserts things about Himself.
In John 8, there is an extended conversation between Jesus and His Jewish critics. You can feel the tension rising like a tide, and at its culmination, Jesus made a simple statement: “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Why did people pick up rocks to stone Him? Pick up your Old Testament, shuffle to the beginning pages of Exodus, and hear the words from the burning bush. Yahweh, the personal God of the Israelites, the God who brought them out of Egypt with a strong hand and outstretched arm, He was the only “I am.” Though the cosmic blasphemy of Jesus’ words would bring His death, they simultaneously give us life.
At the heart of this series is the idea that Jesus made concrete, undeniable claims about His own identity. The hearer of these claims is forced to reckon with them. And like the first century audience grappling with Jesus’ words, we also are forced to reckon with them and with Him. If He is who He says He is, we must consider what these claims mean to us.
So, from these accounts we can say, Jesus Christ is Beautiful. He is Savior. He is Redeemer. He is God. But, in light of who He is, we can now answer the question “who are we to be?”
These are simple ice-breaker questions. They are to engage your group into the conversation about the current “I am” statement from the Book of John.
All the questions for the session are about this text. To get the most out of the study, it is best to read the session’s text before your meeting and when you come together. Take turns if necessary, but make sure to read the text aloud.
This is related text that can shed light on the session’s text. Take time to read it before your session and read it together.
The opening thought is to be read aloud as well. It will give you a starting point before going into the questions for the study.
This section includes a series of questions designed to help you think through the text, how it may relate to other similar texts in the Bible, and provide a bridge to think about how these truths should impact us now.
Applying what we learn is often difficult, but critical. Don’t skip this opportunity. Read this section together at the end of your study and take action. Throughout your week, consider what you have learned and what is being asked. Pray about the week’s study. Every day presents choices. Ask God to help you be obedient and seek His desires for you and those around you. Don’t forget to use other group members to keep you accountable.