19 Mar Discussion Guide: Jesus His Final Week Part 1
Moving Forward With Discipleship Groups
Having come to the end of the Unshakable series, and the 6 week focus on getting together in smaller, discipleship focused groups, my hope is that you have been seeing Jesus grow you and shape you through this intentional focus on connecting with one another. Just because the Nehemiah series is over doesn’t mean your discipleship groups have to come to an end. As we continue to pursue Christ together over the rest of this year, take what you have experienced over the last month and a half and let it continue on in these relationships. This is how we will become the kind of multiethnic, multigenerational, Gospel-Centered community God is calling us to be.
Take the first few minutes of your time together to listen to what God is doing in one another’s lives and pray for any specific needs people in your group may have.
For the next four weeks, leading up to Easter, we are going to be looking at the last week of Jesus’ life. Where did he go? What did he say? Why did he do the things he did? Could that last week have gone any other way? And what does it all mean? After all, at the heart of our faith is not an idea, but a person, so we’re going to take a look at that person together and see how the life, death and resurrection of Jesus impacts the way we do life together.
Why do you think Jesus has been such an inspiring, controversial and central figure throughout history?
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Who is the best friend you have ever had? What was/is it about that person that makes them such a great friend?
What would you say is the difference between getting along with someone and being a covenant friend to someone?
There is a vast difference between simply being acquaintances with someone, merely getting along with that person, and being in a convenient friendship with that person. Someone who is an acquaintance is simply so out of convenience. So long as you and him/her agree on things and the relationship doesn’t cost you any convenience then you remain acquaintances, but the moment that relationship becomes no longer desirable then it comes to an end. On the other hand, if someone is your covenant friend then you continue to love, pursue, serve and honor that person even when it is most difficult and least deserved. A covenantal commitment is a commitment that says I commit to continue loving you, serving you and honoring you regardless of how your respond or react or whether you love, serve and honor me in return. To be an acquaintance means you value to the convenience of “friendship”, but to be committed covenantally means you value the friend more than the friendship.
What can covenant friendship bring to your life?
It can bring you a deeper understanding of God’s love, a deeper understanding of your own worth, as well as your own flaws. It can bring you a deeper sense of connectivity, and it can give you a better sense of belonging among other things.
What might covenant friendship cost you in your life?
It can cost you convenience and comfort as those who love you either require your service or speak correction into your own life. It can cost you your time, it can cost you your own self-misperception…etc
Miroslav Volf, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity
“Because the Christian God is not a lonely God, but rather a communion of three persons, faith leads human beings into the divine communion. One cannot, however, have a self-enclosed communion with the Triune God- a “foursome,” as it were– for the Christian God is not a private deity. Communion with this God is at once also communion with those others who have entrusted themselves in faith to the same God. Hence one and the same act of faith places a person into a new relationship both with God and with all others who stand in communion with God.”
What does the Triune nature of God tell us about Him?
The fact that God exists as One God in Three Persons tells us that God is love. It tells us that God has no need of anything. It tells us that God is humble, sacrificial, serving, giving, honoring and diverse within His own nature.
What does the fact that we are made in the image of this Triune God tell us about us?
How should God’s triune nature influence how we treat one another, and who we pursue friendships with?
Would you say most people live this way? Would you say you tend to live this way?
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
What are some reasons it is difficult for others, and for us, to be that kind of covenant friend?
J.R. Miller, 19th Century Christian Author
“As He loves us—He would have us love others. We say men are not worthy of such friendships. True, they are not. Neither are we worthy of Christ’s wondrous love for us. But Christ loves us—not according to our worthiness—but according to the riches of His own loving heart! So should it be with our giving of friendship—not as the person deserves—but after the measure of our own character.”
When you think about the fact that our Triune God was willing to humble Himself, enter into our world and willingly give His life for the very people who rebelled against Him, how does that impact your ability to be that kind of covenant friend?
What will it take for us, as a community group, to build these kinds of covenant friendships with one another?