STARTUP: At this point in your life, how strong is your personal desire to know Jesus better, compared with other times in the past? Use a scale of one to ten (one = “much weaker than ever,” ten = “much stronger than ever”) to help you decide.
SEEING WHAT’S THERE
1. What fruit do you think Jesus is speaking of in verses 5, 8, and 16? Is it the same in each of these verses?
2. In verses 4-6, Jesus speaks of the utter necessity for us to “abide” or “remain” in Him. Explain whether you think this “remaining” or “abiding” has more to do with faith, more to do with love, or more to do with hope.
3. In what practical ways does our bearing “fruit” bring glory to God, as Jesus says in verse 8?
4. From what you see in the verses around it, what is the true source of the joy Jesus speaks of in verse 11?
5. What are the biggest promises which you see Jesus making in this chapter?
6. Think again of the statement about Jesus in John 1:18. From what you see in chapter 15, what is God like?
7. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: How did Jesus complete this sentence in this chapter: “If the world hates you,—”? (See verse 18.)
CAPTURE THE ESSENCE
8. From what you see in verse 15, how would you define the kind of human friendship Jesus would approve of and endorse?
9. What do you think was involved in the choice Jesus made in verse 16?
10. Keep verse 19 in mind as you discuss how much you agree or disagree with this statement: A person either belongs entirely to God, or entirely to the world; there is no middle ground.
11. In verse 26, look at the words which Jesus uses to describe the Holy Spirit (and notice the same words in verses 16-17 in the previous chapter). By using these words, what does Jesus want us to understand about the Holy Spirit?
12. Once again, if you were asked to summarize the most important “marks of Christian maturity” as taught in this chapter, which ones would you mention first?
13. 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
14. Think once more of the command in Col 3:1—”Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” What have you personally observed about Jesus Christ in this chapter that would be worthy of setting your heart on?
15. With the picture in verses 1 and 2 in mind, what significant pruning would you say God has already accomplished in your life?
16. Jesus speaks in verse 11 of how our joy can be made “full” or “complete”, On a scale of one to ten (one totally empty, ten = totally full or complete), how full or complete would you say is the joy which you are now experiencing in life?
17. In what way would you say the words of Jesus to His disciples in verse 16 are also true of us today?
18. 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
Jesus teaches us that we must depend on Him (verse 5). Look together at the following verses and discuss how Jesus Himself sets the example for us in the way He depends on His Father—5:30; 6:38; 10:37; 12:49-50, and 14:31.
(from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament, © 1992 by Questar Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)