Step 1: Opening and Introduction to the lesson – Personal Testimonies from last week’s study and Reflection: Where did your ancestors come from? How did they get to this country? Who is one of the more colorful characters in your family tree? In your family tree, who is the spiritual pat/matriarch?
Step 2: Hear – Read: The Children of Abraham. John 8:31 – 59.
Step 3: Explore – Discover the Passage
- What does Jesus want to emphasize to the people who believed him? What does he mean by disciples? Truth? Freedom?
- What false assumptions confuse the issue of spiritual freedom for Abraham’s descendants? How does Jesus undermine their base of confidence? What issues does he force them to confront in (vv.34-41)?
- How does Jesus undermine their claim in verse 41? What does he say is the ultimate test to show who, “belongs to God,” (vv. 42-47)? How does he account for their misunderstanding of him (vv. 37, 43, 45, 47)? Why does Jesus continue to address his relationship with the Father?
- What is the critical question raised by his claim in v. 51 (also v. 24)? How is this issue central to the whole argument in 7:4 thru 8:58? How does Jesus use their loyalty to Abraham against them? Why does Jesus’ final claim cause such an outrage (see Ex 3:14)?
Step 4: Connect – Apply the Passage:
- What are you proud of in your religious heritage? In what ways has it been a handicap?
- What has knowing the truth set you free to do? How can you be sure that there is room in your life for his Word? What needs to be cleaned out so there is room?
- Of the four claims Jesus makes in this chapter (vv. 12, 32, 51, 58), which means the most to you? Why?
- What does Jesus’ association between the devil and telling lies mean to you? From this passage, what can you do for someone who is honestly seeking God? What in your spiritual journey might help?
Step 5: Reflect: If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.