News Articles

BIBLE STUDY: Awaiting Jesus’ return

Adobe Stock Photo. Do not publish

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passages: John 13:31-14:6

Discussion Questions:

— How would you describe the kind of love Jesus is discussing in John 13:34-35?

— What are some things that can challenge our belief in Jesus as we try to live out our faith?

— How have you experienced the Lord’s presence and compassion during a troubling time?

Food for thought:

The day prior to His crucifixion Jesus gathered with His disciples to observe the Passover meal. During the meal, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet and charged them to follow His example and serve others. He also declared that someone present would betray Him, and then identified that person as Judas. All of this sets the tone for John 13:31-14:6.

Jesus was preparing the remaining disciples for what was to come. Scholars often refer to the following passage as the Farewell Discourse, as it would be Jesus’ final words of instruction.

Two important truths are found in today’s session. While Jesus first gave these truths to the disciples, the statements are foundational for Christians today.

First, Jesus would not be with them much longer. “Where I am going, you cannot come” (John 13:33). Jesus’ earthly ministry was ending and He would no longer be physically present with the disciples. We know from Matthew’s Gospel account that Jesus would eventually task His disciples with making disciples of all nations and teaching others what He had taught (Matthew 28:18-20).

Second, Jesus was going to prepare a place and would one day return, gather His people, and take them there. Thomas, upon hearing these words, asked Jesus to clarify what He’d just said. Here, we find Jesus’ words of assurance, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Today’s passage reveals Jesus’ identity as the Son of Man, His heart for His followers, and His second coming. He will one day return, and until then Christians can love others, remain loyal to Him, and strengthen their belief in Him. We are His people and we can take comfort and joy in the fact that we will one day dwell with Him forever. Jesus is building a people that will honor God for eternity.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/ExploreTheBible.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by Lifeway can be found at Lifeway.com/SundaySchool and Lifeway.com.