Life Group Questions from the Sermon on 8/20/17

 

Ice Breaker: What is your favorite memory from a family meal?

 

Say: Today we are going to talk about the influence of the kitchen table. Five of the twenty-one chapters in the Gospel of John were about what happened at the table of the Last Supper. The table is a HUGE influencer because the table is where body and soul connect.

 

Rescue People

 

Meals are where friendships often start. Many times having a meal with someone forces us to ask questions we wouldn’t have asked in passing, discuss hard issues, and really get to know one another.

 

  • How can providing food for someone break down a barrier for us to be able to share the Gospel with that person?

  • What are some great things to discuss with a lost person over a meal?

  • Who can we pray for this week that needs Jesus? (take time to pray for these people)

 

Show Them What We Do

 

  1. Conversation

 

In John 13:2, Jesus took time at supper to have a conversation with His disciples. Jesus took an ordinary time and made it an extraordinary time for conversation. Eating together is not all about putting food into our bellies, eating together is also about putting conversation on the table.

 

  • How do our busy schedules impact our conversations over a meal?

  • Holidays are a time for family to gather at a table to share a meal. Why is it important to protect these times of conversation?

  • What is your number one obstacle to having a conversation at a meal with someone, and what can you do to remove that obstacle that this week?

 

  1. Illustration

 

John 13:3–9 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

 

Jesus served the disciples at the table. He didn’t start out by telling them about their day, about His plans, or anything like that, He served. He served because of who He knew He was in the Lord. Serving lowers us under others, and if we have a firm identity in God, we won’t mind serving as Jesus did.

 

  • What kind of an impact do you think Jesus’s service to the disciples had on the atmosphere in the room at that supper?

  • If we served one another during the week, outside of meals, how would that service change the atmosphere at our tables?

  • How does serving others show an illustration of the Gospel?

 

  1. Confrontation

 

In John 13:21-26, Jesus confronted a tough issue: Judas would betray Him and the disciples. Even though the meal was a great place for conversation, Jesus’s service opened up an opportunity for Him to talk about a confrontational issue. The table is a great place to talk about confrontation issues when we talk about the issues in love, with a redemptive outlook. Like a bank, if we deposit love, trust, service, and grace, into the lives of those we eat with, we can make a withdrawal of confrontation when we need. Jesus had made many deposits of love, trust, service, and grace, which allowed Him to deal with confrontational issues.

 

  • Why is it important to make sure we build up people before we discuss confrontational issues?

  • What are confrontational issues that we might need to discuss at the table?

 

  1. Preparation

 

John 13:33–35 33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34A 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.”

 

Jesus knew He was leaving the disciples soon, and because of that, He knew He needed to prepare them for life when He wouldn’t physically be with them. Like when cooking meat, preparation makes all the difference. Marinating meat puts in great taste because what the meat soaks up changes the taste. In the same way, what we do at our table, marinates, so to speak, what happens when we go away from the table. Just like Jesus, we need to focus on preparing people to live for God when they’re away from the table.

 

  • Why is it important to ‘soak up’ the Word of God during the week through reading and study?

  • Why should we prepare people to follow God?

  • How can we prepare people to follow God by eating with them at the table?

 

  1. Affirmation

 

Affirmation gives us a firm identity when everything in the world tries to tear down and destroy our identity in Christ. Jesus affirmed the Disciples in John 16:25-33 by telling them they would overcome because He had overcome. If we only prepare people to do something and we never affirm them, people may serve God for awhile, but they will fall away at the first big crisis point.

 

  • Who has affirmed you, and why did it mean so much to you?

  • How do we affirm people of their identity in Christ?

 

  1. Devotion

 

There was no question about if Jesus was devoted to the Disciples or not. He invested heavily in these men, and then through His devotion, He blessed them in four ways at the table.

 

Knowledge- John 17:7 7Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.

 

  • Why is it important to help other people know God?

  • How does it bless others and show our devotion to them when we tell them about God?

 

Steadfastness- John 17:11 11And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

 

  • Why do you think Jesus prayed for His Disciples to be steadfast in their faith?

  • How does helping someone remain strong in the Lord, connected to the church, and connected with people show our devotion to them?

 

Purity- John 17:15–17 15I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

 

  • How can we help keep each other pure through our meals together? (lead conversation to accountability and living purely, ourselves)

 

Commissioning- John 17:18–19 18As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

 

  • Jesus sent His Disciples out to serve the Lord, how does sending someone out to serve the Lord bless them and show our devotion to them? (lead the conversation to talk about serving God is the best thing we can do)

 

Send Them Out To Do What We Do

 

All of us are called to be positive influences for Jesus everywhere we go and in everything we do. This week, the challenge is to be a positive influence at our table. Let’s commit to having one more meal with someone than we had last week, and in that meal, remembering these six things Jesus showed us about how to be a positive influence at the table.

 

Close in prayer