Sunday School Material 5-27-12: The Way, The Truth, and The Life
(John 14:1-14; 5/27/12)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is Jesus urges His disciples to focus on spreading the Gospel with the blessed assurance that God will take care of His own. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on spreading the Gospel with blessed assurance.
Read John 14:1-4
I. Promised Place. In this section of the Sunday School material Jesus tells His disciples not to be troubled. They are to trust in God the Father and Jesus. He tells them about His preparing a place for them.
- Controlling our hearts. Notice in vs. 1 of the Sunday School material the idea of controlling our hearts with our faith. As believers, we can choose to let our hearts and emotional centers be troubled because of our circumstances or perceptions.
Or we can choose to keep our hearts and emotional centers in balance, by focusing on how we trust the promises of God (e.g., a prepared place). Let’s work on controlling our hearts with faith, instead of letting them be troubled by fear.
The more we prayerfully study the Word with a mind to obey, the more we see that we can trust God to work things out for the good of His people.
- Checking in. Notice in vs. 4 that Jesus is actually checking in to make sure His students understand what He is saying. In this case, it was clear that His students did not understand which triggers further clarification and explanation.
Let’s work on checking in and responding appropriately with those who we are ministering to. If you are talking about point four in your presentation and the person you are talking to doesn’t understand point two, everything you say after point two is almost a waste of time and energy.
This is true in witnessing, discipleship encouragement, and all communications with people – family, friends, job, and community.
Read John 14:5-11
II. Promised Way. In the Sunday School material Thomas says that they don’t know where Jesus is going and don’t know the way. Jesus teaches that He is the way, truth, and life.
He urges His disciples to understand what He is talking about. Philip shows his lack of understanding as well. Jesus talks about how when people see Him, they are actually seeing the Father, because He and the Father are one.
- Jesus the way, truth, and life. Notice in vs. 6 that Jesus is the way, truth, and life. Believers hold that Jesus is the only true way to be right with God the Father. Jesus shows us how to live a godly life.
As much as community work may call for collaborating with people who are not Christians, we must be careful to remember that Jesus is the only way to the Father.
Let’s live like we really understand that Jesus is the way, truth, and life. Such living should include making sure we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith and striving to live a life known for loving God and others, as we love ourselves.
- Doing our part and trusting God with the rest. Notice in vs. 11 of the Sunday School material that even when you have done miraculous things, some of those who should understand better than anyone else may not really understand.
On one hand, we should live and minister in such a way that people will have reason to believe that God has His hand on us. We should have a track record of faithful service and obedience.
But on the other hand, people can be unpredictable. Those who we think should understand may not. And those who we think will never understand may understand. Let’s work on doing our parts and trusting God with the rest.
Read John 14:12-14
III. Promised Work. Jesus talks about how those who have faith in Him will do even greater works than He has done. He is going to the Father. There is the promise of answered prayer at the end of the text.
- Doing greater works. Notice in vs. 12 of the Sunday School material that those with faith will do greater works in the mission of spreading the Gospel than Jesus did.
When you look at the number of people who have become saved and disciples of Christ after the death and resurrection of Jesus compared to those before His death and resurrection, it should be obvious that more came after.
To assume that we would do greater miracles would be an indication that we did not understand the purpose of the miracles. The miracles were designed to get people to believe and grow. Let’s work on doing the great work that God is calling us to do – evangelizing and edifying God’s way.
- Praying for effective ministry. Notice in vss. 13-14 that the promises regarding prayer are based on the context. In the context, the person praying is a believer, is focused on the mission of spreading the Gospel, and is praying according to God’s will (i.e., in the name of Jesus).
This text should not be used to support a “name it and claim it” theology that makes the “it” health, wealth, and stress free living. Let’s work on praying for God to help us do greater works in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: Let’s work on spreading the Gospel with blessed assurance. God has much for those who obey His will.
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