The Gospel of John, chapter 1
“Coffee House Theology” ice breaker questions
- What is your full name? What is your nick name? Where did your name(s) come from? – These relate to the first few verses talking about the Word of God. Vs. 1-14. As a name…see next category of questions.
- Have you ever been embarrassed by mistaking a stranger for an acquaintance? What happened? – This one relates to the part where the people come to John to ask who he was. Vs. 19-28
- When you get some good news; who is the first person you want to share it with? Why?
- As a child, what would it take for you to believe something your brother or sister told you? – Three and four kind of go along with vs.35-42
“Digging Deeper” with Bible study questions for small groups – three levels: Identification Questions (fact-oriented, answers found in scripture, low personal risk in sharing) Analysis Questions (participants begin to ask their own questions and form theories about what is happening in the text and why it may be important, higher personal risk in sharing), and Personalized Questions (participants place themselves in the text, imagine/experience/correlate the text directly to their own experiences, highest personal risk in sharing).
Level One, first section verses 1-18:
- What facts about “the Word” can you find in verses 1-5? Verses 10-18?
- What is John the Baptist’s role as a witness?
- Who or what fails to comprehend the light? Vv.5, 10-11
- Why do you suppose the Gospel begins “in the beginning” rather than at Jesus’ birth like the others?
- Why is there lack of comprehension about the light?
- From the image of “receiving” someone (v 12), how would you explain what faith is about? What is the result of this type of faith?
- How would someone “full of grace and truth” treat others?
- From this passage, how can a person come to know God?
- Place yourself in the crowd, hearing for the first time John’s witness: “This is he of whom I said, ‘he who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” What is your reaction?
- Do you think you will ever “see God” vs. 18? When?
- Think of moments when you have been “full of grace and truth” and acted accordingly. Are there moments that you have not? What keeps you from living with “full of grace and truth”? Why?
Level One, second section, verses 19-28:
- What questions do priests and Levites ask John? What do these questions reveal about why they were sent?
- Why does John respond so abruptly?
- What do you suppose John’s purpose is in life?
- What does he mean by calling Jesus the Lamb of God and the Son of God?
- Do you know any other scriptural proofs form the First (Old) Testament?
- Imagine yourself being asked the Levite’s questions. Would you have said something different if you were in John’s shoes?
- In your life, think about what it means to “make straight the way for the Lord.” What does that look like?
- What would you have to do for the Lord to make a straight path right to you?
- Would that scare you if Jesus were headed straight your way? Why or why not?
- What does Baptism mean for you?
- Could you see yourself taking on the sacrificial lifestyle of the Lamb of God for any cause? What would it be?
Level One, the rest of John chapter 1:
- What motivated the disciples to follow Jesus?
- Why does John point his own disciples away from himself?
- Who does Jesus call first to follow him?
- In light of verses 30-31, how do you think John felt when his disciples left him to follow Jesus?
- How do you think Simon felt when Jesus changed his name to Cephas?
- Based on Nethanael’s response to Philip, what type of person do you think Nethanael is?
- Why do you suppose Jesus called Philip and Nethanael in such different ways?
- Can you see how each person in the text decides to follow Jesus? In your opinion, does that illustrate the point from the beginning (vv 1-17) about the light of John and the true light of Christ?
- Which way of being called is most comfortable to you, Philip, Nethanael, or another of the disciples?
- If you were given a new name, what would it be? Why?
- If Jesus gave you a new name, what would it be? Why?
- If you would want Jesus to give you a new name, what would it be? Why?
I hope this gives you a good beginning place to begin looking for ways to engage your life and faith stories, and to help with placing yourselves in the Great Story.