“It is not within my ability to answer all your questions, in fact you may leave here more confused than when you came in, but at least you will leave here confused at a higher level.
“This is not a bad thing. Einstein was confused at a higher level about the ability for light to be both a particle and a wave. He knew more than both of us would ever know about physics, but he was still confused, just at a higher level. Thus that is my goal.”
“Remember that there are WRONG answers in every Bible Study. A leader will be amiss if he/she does not gently correct wrong answers. It is very dangerous to allow people to leave with an incorrect idea, for that can lead to heresy.”
Objective: Go deeper into the less obvious issues addressed in the passage. Promote thinking on a deeper level. Be prepared for the defense of our faith.
Teacher’s Note for question 1: Jesus said he was the Truth. He claimed to be the physical manifestation of the truth. This goes against any gnostic teaching. Expand on what the gnostics taught.
1. Verse 6. Why would Jesus say “I am the Truth?” What was so important that He would claim to be the physical manifestation of Truth? Why did John tell us about this so specifically?
Teacher’s Note for question 2:. Many religions claim to have prophets and teachers that show the way. The intent here is to describe how Jesus’ physical existence is central to Christianity. Christ’s life was an event in the time-space horizon. This is very different from most religions.
2. Verse 6. Why is Jesus the Way? How is this different from Buddha or Mohammed? How is this similar to Joseph Smith?
Teacher’s Note for question 3: How do we respond to the exclusivity of Christianity. This is a dilemma and not an easy answer. This is a very common question and will be asked by a majority of non-christians.
3a. Verse 6. “No one comes to the Father but by Me.” Can someone be a Christian and believe that there are other ways to heaven? What if they are a new Christian?
3b. Verse 6. “No one comes to the Father but by Me.” If this is true, how do we then deal with the “savage” who has never heard? How do we respond to unbelievers when they ask this question?
Teacher’s Note for question 4: There are numerous ministries of signs and wonders today. Are they ALL from God? If not how do we guard against such a seemingly obvious teaching in the Bible? How do we equip our Bible Study to battle such things, if it is even necessary to do battle? How can we get our folks to think critically and carefully?
4. Verse 11: Are miracles sufficient evidence of Holiness? If someone were to come tomorrow doing great miracles should you believe in them? What if they were able to raise people from the dead, heal the sick? What if they were able to raise themselves from the dead? How does this sit with this verse?
Teacher’s Note for question 5: To promote a sense of openness and allow people to ask the difficult questions, we need to encourage people.
5. What is one question you want to ask about this section, but hasn’t been asked? Tough questions welcome. Answers not guaranteed.