This week's Small Group Guide is composed of questions from this week's GPS Guide. The questions relate to the Scripture for that particular day. You can download the full week's GPS as a printable document for the context of each question below (in the printable version, the recommended small group questions are marked with a special bullet point).
Pastor Hamilton honed in on the underlying spiritual question this story asks each of us. “Jesus wanted to make sure his disciples got it. The story in John 13 encourages us to ask this question: Are you—am I—worried about who appears to be the greatest, or are we focused on humbly serving others?”* What’s your answer? Has it changed over time?
Another of the self-examination questions John Wesley, Methodism’s founder, encouraged people to regularly ask (and answer) was, “Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am?” Do you believe Peter was, in some measure, trying to convince Jesus (and maybe himself) that he was better than he really was? When do you find the same tug at work in your own life?
The story also shows us an important truth. If any human ever had a direct connection to God, it was Jesus. Yet he asked his three closest friends to be with him, stay alert and pray. Do you try to hide your hurts and your needs from your friends, to handle them on your own? Or are you, like Jesus, open to asking people you trust for the friendship and support you need?
Later Jesus told the Roman procurator Pilate, ““My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight….My kingdom isn’t from here.” Peter tried to fight, and Jesus stopped him. We still live in a world where violence often feels like the only viable response to evil. Is it? To what extent do you believe Jesus was right, and to what extent was his situation different from “real life”?
* Adam Hamilton, John: The Gospel of Light and Life. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2015, p. 96.
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