Welcome to another week of Online Connection Groups! We pray these have been a good opportunity to learn more about Jesus, each other, and yourself.
This week in our series “That You May Believe”, Jesus enters Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday. He makes some puzzling comments on life, death and glory. Feel free to use the following questions to reflect and prepare for your group’s discussion.
Getting to Know Each Other (Suggested time: 30 min)
Consider beginning your group time with the following questions, to learn a little more about each other.
- What’s been your proudest moment or most significant accomplishment?
- What’s the most selfless act a family member or friend has done for you? What impact did that have on your life?
Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)
Please complete these questions prior to your group’s meeting time.
1) In verses 12-16, we’re presented with an interesting scene. Based on the size of the crowd, one would imagine that Jesus is parading into the city on a mighty steed. Instead, he’s riding a tiny donkey.
→ Read Zechariah 9:9-10.
→ The crowd expected their Messiah to be a warrior king. However as we’ve seen throughout John, Jesus behaves much differently than expected. What type of king is Jesus? What evidence supports this?
→ Throughout John, we see people respond differently to Jesus (worship, misunderstanding, rejection, seeking, confusion, questioning, fear, etc.). In light of this, how has your relationship with Jesus been this week?
2) In John 12:17-19 (and 12:9-11 from last week), we learn many believed in Jesus because of Lazarus having been raised from the dead. His life was such a strong testimony; the Jews wanted him dead as well.
→ Read 1 Peter 3: 13-18.
→ In what ways does your life display the power of Jesus?
→ What, if anything, keeps you from sharing the hope you have?
3) In verses 23-26, we learn that a seed has great potential for life, but it can only multiply if it dies.
→ Read Philippians 2:1-8.
→ This week, what attitudes or behaviors have you put to death so that you may have the fullness of life promised by Jesus?
→ Who in your life can you serve this week? What steps can you take to love them well?
4) Last week, Bryan explained that no matter the evidence, there are still people who won’t believe in Jesus. In verse 29, we see another example of this. God spoke to everyone, but some only heard thunder.
→ There are many different spiritual disciplines (prayer, worship, bible study, fasting, fellowship, rest, meditation, generosity, etc.) What spiritual disciplines can help you hear the voice of God better?
→ Throughout history, God has spoken to people through Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and the people He has put in our lives. Although His voice might be hard to hear sometimes, we know it will never contradict Scripture. Have you ever felt God speak to you? If so, what was the situation?
→ Has anything from Bryan’s sermon or this discussion stood out to you? If so, why?
Group Prayer (Suggested time: 10 min)
Prayer plays an essential role in our Online Connection Groups. However, we understand prayer can be a little awkward. While some may be reluctant to pray aloud, others can unintentionally take over. Try to be aware of your tendencies and grow beyond them.
This week, take some time to prepare your prayer request(s) and/or an answered prayer. Try opening up–invite your group into your world. Seeing God move through prayer is a meaningful way to connect with each other.