40 Days in the Gospel of John
We are launching a 40 day study of the Gospel of John to coincide with Lent. We have posted the full devotional online, you can scroll below to read it. You can also click on the image to the left for a pdf version of the study.
If you want to know more about Lent and why we're observing this season read our Invitation to Lent.
The most important question for our faith is: Who is Jesus?
There are other great questions, but they all lean upon this one to find their significance. People have long been divided by this question, resulting in many opinions and perspectives. But if this question is truly central to our faith, if its answer becomes the bedrock of everything else we believe, then where might we find the truth?
John was a fisherman from a family of fisherman. So, naturally, John was fishing when he first met Jesus. In that life-changing encounter, John believed something about Jesus that compelled him to leave everything—family, friends, financial security—to follow Him. Along with his brother, James, and the often-infamous Simon Peter, John became part of Jesus’ inner circle—a small group of disciples who witnessed some of the most significant events in the life of Jesus. Even more, it’s likely that John was Jesus’ closest friend. On account of John’s unique and privileged perspective on Jesus, he might be best positioned to help answer this most important question of who Jesus is.
After years of steadfast faith and service to the church, John was guided by the Holy Spirit to write an account of Jesus’ life, which has been preserved in the bible as The Gospel of John.
The reason for his writing is revealed in John 20:31:
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John wrote to strengthen the faith of Christians who were experiencing doubt, discouragement, or even disbelief because of the harsh world around them. At the same time, people who had not yet believed in Jesus could discover faith for the first time by letting John answer the question, “Who is Jesus?”
Through this study, the staff of BridgePointe prays that you will discover the answer to the most important question, that your faith in Jesus will be strengthened, and that you’ll find the life in Him that you were created for. Make the most of this season of preparation by complimenting your own reading with the Sunday teaching series Perfect Match and Face to Face. If this study produces questions you’d like to discuss or prompts you to make a commitment to Jesus through baptism, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do you think John began his Gospel by talking about how Jesus existed from eternity past?
Many people argue that Jesus was a prophet who did good works but wasn’t the Son of God. How do John’s words argue against that idea?
How did John point others to Jesus instead of pointing to Himself?
What can we learn about following Jesus from John’s words and actions?
Of all the things John could have called Jesus, why do you think he called Him “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”?
Do you think we might have trouble recognizing Jesus in our own lives? What are some things that might keep us from doing so?
Have you ignored Jesus’ calling you to be a disciple? If yes, what do you believe He wants you to do?
Do you think people in general are skeptical of miracles? Why or why not?
Jesus had just said it wasn’t His hour, so why did He perform a miracle anyway?
What do you need to do in response to what you read?
According to Jesus, what was missing in the life
of Nicodemus (v. 3)?
What do you believe Jesus meant about having to be born again to see the kingdom of God?
How might knowing that you are saved by God’s grace and not by works give you confidence in your walk with Christ? In your relationship with others?
What does John’s example teach you about your responsibility as a follower of Christ today?
How might you decrease to self this week and allow Christ to increase in you?
Are there any ministries you might help or contribute to in order to put this into practice?
The Samaritan woman and Jesus have two different ideas about “living water.” What were they?
Why was the living water Jesus described attractive to
Do you feel as if there are reasons you are not good enough for Jesus? How does this story speak against this feeling?
Do you think people will generally believe if they see signs and wonders?
What does this miracle show about Jesus’ concern for the individual?
What lessons can we learn from this passage?
Why do you think the Jews in this passage were more focused on the man’s carrying the mat on the Sabbath than they were on the fact that a man had healed them?
What does their focus on the law rather than on the act of grace say about their understanding of God’s character?
Jesus was not content to leave the man healed without a conversation about his sin. What does this reveal about the nature of the Father?
In your own life, what were some of the witnesses that helped you believe the claims of Jesus?
In these verses, how do you see the difference between knowing information about Jesus and actually believing in and following Him?
What safeguards can you put in your life to make sure you aren’t just learning more things about Jesus, but actually believing in and following Him?
How might Jesus’ identity speak to why Jesus is able to feed the 5,000?
How does Jesus use the crowd’s need for food as an opportunity to teach His disciples about His divine identity (see especially v. 6)?
What is the significance of Jesus using the phrase “It is I” (or “I am”) in verse 20?
What does this passage teach you about God?
In verse 35, Jesus says whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. What do you think he means?
In verses 47-51, how does Jesus contrast the life He gives with the manna the Israelites received in the wilderness?
In what sense is Jesus’ teaching “hard”? What do you find most difficult about what He has said in John 6?
What does Jesus say in verses 63-65 to explain why some are able to accept His teaching, while others cannot?
In verses 64 and 70-71, what does John say to indicate that Jesus knew that some of His followers at the time were not true believers and that Judas would betray Him?
Considering what happened between the time Jesus arrived at the festival and the time He began to teach, what are some reasons why Jesus might have kept His presence a secret those few days?
Jesus said “my time is not here yet,” what do you think he meant?
Why were the people in verses 25-27 confused?
What does this passage teach you about Jesus?
Read verse 37, what do you think Jesus means?
Why do you think people were still divided about who Jesus was at this point?
Jesus offer grace and truth to this woman. What do you need to do to offer this to others?
Jesus provided a template for us to follow him in verse 12, think about what you can do to keep walking in the light.
Why is so important to believe in who Jesus is? Do you dispute who Jesus is at times?
What truth has God revealed to you to which has set
Jesus makes a bold statement in verse 47, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is you do not belong to God.” Based on how closely you listen to God can you honestly say that you belong to him?
The blind man dealt with a massive amount of shame because of his condition, and Jesus healed him from it. Take time to reflect on shame Jesus has healed you from in the past, or shame you know he wants to heal you from today.
Have you ever had a “I was blind, but now I see” moment where Jesus radically saved or changed you? Pray and thank God for that moment, or take this opportunity to ask him to do it for the first time.
Like the Pharisees, many people deny Jesus no matter what evidence they see. Do you have anyone like that in your life? In the spirit of Pray for One, pray for an opportunity to share God’s love with them this week so that they might finally see Jesus.
How have you experienced “life to the full” because of Jesus?
Jesus says, ” I am the good shepherd” and he willingly gave his life for his sheep. What part of the good shepherd description amazes you the most?
How do you need Jesus to be your good shepherd
Do Jesus’ works lead you to believe he is God? Why or why not?
CS Lewis wrote, “There are only two sorts of people in the world: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “Thy will done.” Reflecting on your life and actions, which person are you?
Have you ever felt like God didn’t’ do something in your timing, but in the end you see the good of his timing?
How does it change your life today to know you will live forever with Jesus?
Jesus says, “I am the life.” Are you experiencing the abundant life only available through Jesus?
How does it make you feel to know Jesus wept with Mary?
Like Lazarus, Jesus has raised us from the dead spiritually. What does it look like to live as if you’ve been raised from the dead?
Just like Judas we often say things with double motives. Take this time to pray and ask Jesus to make your heart and words pure like his.
Mary gave a costly gift to Jesus because she believed it was worth it. Is there anything in your life you that might seem costly, but that you know you need to give to Jesus?
What do you think Jesus means when he says, “The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
The disciples didn’t understand why Jesus had to die. Is there anything in your life right now that seems confusing to you, but you know God has a purpose?
Do you live for the praise of God or for the praise of others? What’s one thing you can do to help you live for the praise of God more?
What dark part of your life do you want Jesus to shine
Jesus “loved them to the end.” How does it change your life today to know that Jesus loves you forever no matter what?
What does it look like for you to radically serve others like Jesus?
Is there any selfishness in you that wants others to serve you rather than you serve others? Pray and ask God to make you a servant like Jesus.
The Glory of God is a theme we find throughout the Gospel of John. In your own words, describe the glory of God.
Do people know you are a disciple of Jesus by your love?
Like Judas and Peter, we betray Jesus. How do our setbacks help us to know and follow Jesus more?
When your heart is troubled how can Jesus’ words encourage you?
People today suggest there are multiple ways to get to God. What does Jesus say about that? Why do you think he says this?
What does Jesus mean when he says we will do greater things than him?
Jesus promises to give us the Holy Spirit. Are you aware of the Holy Spirit inside of you? If so, how does He help you in your daily life?
If not, how can you become more aware of him?
In Jesus’ mind, love equals obedience. What’s one area of your life you can love Jesus more?
Are you staying connected to Jesus daily?
What’s one habit you can implement which would help you be even more connected to him?
Pray and ask Jesus to help you to bear fruit today for him. Be bold, and ask him to cut off any part of your life that’s not bearing fruit for him.
In the United States we aren’t persecuted for our faith like the first disciples. However, we still face opposition to following Jesus. Think about a time you faced opposition because of your love for Jesus.
Are you avoiding opposition in your faith in order to be liked by people or avoid difficult circumstances?
Why is Jesus saying it is better for him to go away than to stay on earth?
The Spirit of Jesus will guide you into all truth. What are are some of the most impactful truths the Spirit has guided you to?
The disciples often struggled to understand what Jesus was trying to teach them. Have you ever read some scripture and been at a total loss?
Jesus uses childbirth to explain how joy can cover the anguish of our past. Have you experienced the release a joyous moment can create?
If so, praise God for that. If not, ask God to either provide something to be joyful for, or for you to experience a peace in Jesus that will redirect your perspective.
Jesus prays for three things: Himself, His friends, and believers. How can you pray for yourself?
How can you pray for those close to you?
Talking to God about yourself, your friends, and your fellow believers redirects you heart to focus on God’s local and global significance. Let’s share His story.
Upon reading this scripture, It can be so easy to declare our ability to act differently then Peter in that situation, but often times people withhold their faith from others. Have you ever not told the whole story to leave Jesus out of it?
Do you act different with your “church” friends than you do with your “work” friends? Denial can take many forms, so ask God to first increase your awareness, and for the boldness to declare and share your faith when the time arises.
There comes a time when people have the power to do what is right, despite opposition and peer pressure they may be facing. Social media guarantees that almost anyone can have influence upon others. Who do you have influence over?
Who relies or looks up to you?
Often times, what God calls us to do will appear opposite to what everyone else thinks. Pray to God for the courage and boldness to do what is right.
Jesus states in John 19:11 that people have no power over Him unless it is given to them. That means that the only reason Jesus was beaten was because He let them. Reread John 19:1-3 and think about how every slap, whip, and attack was taken for you. It doesn’t matter what you have done or will do, Jesus still allowed himself to be tortured if it meant bringing you closer to Him and His Father. How greatly must Jesus think of you if he was willing to do that?
Consider the cost your relationship had for Jesus.
What cost are you willing to take to help with someone else’s relationship with God?
Sometimes, you will experience things as you pursue Jesus that may be hard to believe like the man in John 19:35. Your story will help others believe if you are brave enough to share it. Who is around you that you can share your story with?
What parts of your story give glory to God and could help others believe?
When Mary Magdalene realized it was Jesus she was speaking to, she cried out “Teacher!“. What kind of things has Jesus taught you?
When you think of Jesus, what is the first thing that comes to mind? (Son, Healer, Creator, Savior, or something else)
Praise Jesus for how you currently view Him, and ask Him to open up or mind to new ways to interact with Jesus.
Thomas needed to see proof before he would believe. Is there anything you feel God still needs to prove to you before you give everything to Him?
Do you consider yourself someone that needs to see before believing?
Identify your struggles, and ask God to work through those with you. He may give you the answer you have been looking for, or perhaps He will change your heart.
God is in the business of abundantly rewarding obedience. The Disciples only caught those fish because they did exactly as Jesus told them. What areas of your life can you be more obedient to God’s commands?
If unsure, what do you do that brings you farther away from God instead of closer?
Pray to God for the self-awareness to find areas of growth and for the help to conquer it.
John 21:25 describes the infinite ways Jesus impacted people while he was alive. What’s cool is that Jesus is still impacting people through His church and Spirit. How can you better impact your church?
How can you better impact your community?
Ask the Holy Spirit to equip you to contribute to both in a way that brings others closer to Jesus.