Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection: When you played hide and seek as a kid (or with your kids, did you prefer hiding or seeking? Where was one of your best hiding spots? Did you stay hidden long, or did you jump out to scare the one seeking you? When has someone jumped to a wrong conclusion about you?
Step 2: Hear – Read: Is Jesus the Christ, Unbelief of Jewish Leaders. John 7:33 – 52.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- What about Jesus’ statement in vv. 33-34, do the Jews misunderstand. Every day at this feast, water would be poured out as a symbol of thanks for God’s provision. In this context, what does Jesus’ statement in verses 37-38 mean? Why?
- What are some ways that the Spirit’s work is like water (compare 4:13-14)? How is the spirit received? How does the confusion over Jesus’ birth place (vv. 41-42) cloud the issue of his identity?
- Why do the guards keep hands off? What tensions do they feel? What justification do the Pharisees offer in refuting the guards? Nicodemus (vv. 48-50)? Why would Nicodemus risk defending Jesus?
- According to the chief priest and Pharisees, who are the only people who believe in Jesus ( see Nicodemus’ statement in 3:2)? Compare water, living water, and the Spirit. How are drinking and believing Jesus related? What is the result?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- What is the relationship for you between believing the promises of Christ and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit?
- What different opinions about Christ do you hear today? Why does that confusion exist?
- When have you been ridiculed because of your faith? What did you do?
- How are knowing Christ and knowing God related? Have you received the Spirit and how do you know?
Step 5: Reflect: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.