Startup: Talk about some of the most meaningful and surprising ways in which you have been served by someone, when you felt undeserving of that service.
SEEING WHAT’S THERE
1. In verse 1, John speaks of a certain fact Jesus “knew.” How do you think Jesus came to learn this fact?
2. Look also in verse 3 at three additional facts that Jesus “knew” at this time. How would you analyze the importance of each of these three facts, as they relate to Jesus at this time?
3. From what you see in this chapter, what one-word adjectives would you use to best describe the disciples? And what appropriate one-word descriptions would you give to each of these individuals: Peter; Judas; and Jesus?
4. Look at the mention made of the devil in verses 2 and 27, and look back also at verses 70-71 in chapter 6. From the evidence you see, what was the devil’s strategy at this point in his warfare against God?
5. Think again of the statement about Jesus in John 1:18. From what you see in chapter 13, what is God like?
6. What in this chapter do you think might be most surprising to a new Christian reading it for the first time?
7. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: After Jesus got up from the meal He was sharing with the disciples, and before He began washing their feet, what three things did He do? (See verses 4-5.)
CAPTURE THE ESSENCE
8. Notice what John says about the love of Jesus in verse 1. Then discuss together how much you agree or disagree with this statement: There is no limit whatsoever to the love of Christ.
9. Look at what Jesus said to the disciples in verse 7. What do you think prevented them from fully understanding what was going on at that time?
10. With verse 16 in mind, discuss how much you agree or disagree with this statement: When we fail to offer loving service to others, we are in essence proclaiming that we are greater and more important than Jesus Himself
11. Why do you think Jesus calls His command in verse 34 a new command? In what way is it new?
12. [Editing note: this sentence doesn’t make sense Review what Jesus said about Judas in verse 21, and about Peter in Peter in verse 38. Since Jesus knew Judas would betray Him, and Peter would deny Him, why didn’t He do something to prevent them from doing so?
, and about Peter in Peter in verse John 13:38>. Since Jesus knew Judas would betray Him, and Peter would deny Him, why didn’t He do something to prevent them from doing so? [JOHN 13]>
13. Some commentators have felt that Judas Iscariot has been unfairly blamed in history for what he did to Jesus—that he was simply reacting in an understandable, human way to a situation in which he had greater expectations of Jesus than Jesus could meet. From what you see in this chapter, especially in verses 2 and 27-30, how would you respond to that observation?
14. If you were asked to summarize the most important “marks of Christian maturity” as taught in this chapter, which ones would you mention first?
15. If you had only this chapter in Scripture to refer to, how would you use it to help show someone that Jesus is truly God?
FOR LIFE TODAY
16. Look at what Jesus says in verse 7. What circumstances in your life now could Jesus speak those same words about?
17. Look again at what Jesus said in verses 14-15. Explain in your own words what this example of Jesus means practically in your own life.
18. In people’s love for one another, how well do you think your church is living up to the standard taught by Jesus in verses 34-35?
19. How well do you think the people in your Bible study group are living up to the standard taught by Jesus in verses 34-35?
20. In light of how you’re doing spiritually in your life today, which verse in this chapter do you think is the most important at this time—and why?
FOR GOING DEEPER
Love is a major emphasis in John’s gospel from chapter 13 until the end. Try to start with a blank slate in your mind as you look together at the following key verses, and use them to come up with a fresh definition for love—14:21; 15:13; 16:27, and 17:24.
(from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament, © 1992 by Questar Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)