December 16, 2018 – John 14:1-31

Lesson Date: December 16, 2018

Focal Scripture Passage: John 14:1-31

AIM: To lead students to describe the ways Jesus comforted His disciples the night before His crucifixion, and to claim God’s comfort when they face troubling times.

 

Before class: Read the notes on John 14:1-31 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. If you choose the second option below to introduce the lesson, enlist a class member to share a brief testimony about a time when he or she faced very troubling, discouraging, or upsetting circumstances. Get enough copies of the “Comfort in Troubling Times” handout sheet for your anticipated attendance.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Read the following to the class:

  • The business where you’ve worked 25 years suddenly closes down, leaving you out of a job.
  • The doctor calls you in for a consultation and reveals that you have a very serious type of cancer, which is already in an advanced stage.
  • A member of your immediate family is killed in an automobile accident, leaving you stunned and broken-hearted.

– OR –

Ask the previously enlisted student to tell of a time when he or she faced very troubling, discouraging, or upsetting circumstances.

Ask the students to think of times they have faced trouble, discouragement, or heartache. Ask: “What gave you comfort and strength during those troubling times?” After students have shared some responses, tell them in today’s lesson we will discover that Jesus used at least four truths to comfort His disciples.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the Gospel of John.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 20:31.
    • Ask: “Why did John write this account of Jesus’ life?” (so his readers would believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have everlasting life by trusting in Him).
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Jesus’ example of humility).
    • Ask if any volunteers would recite last week’s memory verses (John 14:6).
  2. Comfort – Jesus is Coming Back.
    • Remind the students that John 13 – 17 took place on the night Jesus was arrested. Jesus and His disciples were sharing a meal when He revealed some very troubling facts:
      • He said one of them would betray Him.
      • He also said He was going to leave them and they couldn’t go with Him.
      • Finally, He said Peter, perhaps the strongest and boldest of the disciples, would deny Jesus three times before morning.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 14:1-3.
    • Ask: “Why did Jesus say the disciples shouldn’t be troubled?” (because He is equal to God and just as trustworthy).
    • Ask: “What did Jesus say He was going to prepare?” (a place in his Father’s house for His disciples).
    • Ask: “According to verse 3, what did Jesus promise to do?” (come again and take His disciples to be with Him).
    • Tell the students Jesus was about to leave, but He promised to come back for them.
      • If someone you loved and depended on had to go away for a long time, they would undoubtedly ease the pain of separation by promising to come back.
      • When the disciples faced persecution, they could remember that Jesus promised to come back.
    • Summarize: Jesus comforted His disciples by promising to return for them.
  3. Comfort – Jesus Possesses the Father’s Power.
    • Read John 14:4-6.
    • Stress the importance of verse 6:
      • There is no other way to get to heaven except by way of Jesus.
      • The Bible makes it clear that salvation is available only through the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 14:7-9.
    • Ask: “What does verse 9 tell us about Jesus’ identity?” (He and the Heavenly Father are one, just as He previously said in John 10:30).
    • Ask the class to listen for another comforting truth as you read John 14:10-15.
    • Tell the class in those verses Jesus comforted His disciples by assuring them that He possesses all the Father’s power. Explain the following:
      • Jesus Christ is God.
      • He did the Father’s works and spoke the Father’s words.
      • Since He has power to answer prayer, we should ask Him for help in troubling times.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus promise in verse 14?” (that He would answer their prayers).
    • Ask: “What do those who love Jesus do?” (obey Him).
    • Stress the fact that the only visible sign of genuine salvation is obedience to the commands of Christ. Those who are truly Jesus’ disciples obey Him.
    • Summarize: Jesus comforted His disciples by assuring them that He possesses all the Father’s power.
  4. Comfort – The Indwelling Holy Spirit.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 14:16-21.
    • Ask: “Who did Jesus promise to send to His disciples?” (the Comforter, who we know as the Holy Spirit).
    • Ask: “How long did Jesus say the Holy Spirit will stay with His disciples?” (forever).
    • Explain that prior to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the Holy Spirit would come upon an individual for a specific task and a specific time. The idea of the Holy Spirit of God coming to live permanently within the believer was totally new and revolutionary.
    • Tell the class verse 21 again says Jesus’ disciples are known by their obedience to His commands. God the Father loves obedient disciples and Jesus manifests Himself to them.
    • Read John 14:22-26.
    • Note from verses 23-24 the intimacy with God that comes from loving and obeying Jesus.
    • Ask: “According to verse 26, what does the Holy Spirit do in our lives?” (teaches us spiritual truths and reminds us of the things the Lord has told us).
    • Tell the students Jesus was going away, but the Holy Spirit would come and stay with His followers (and in them) forever. Jesus would not leave them comfortless.
    • Summarize: Jesus comforted His disciples by promising to send them the Holy Spirit, who would never leave them.
  5. Comfort – The Promise of Peace.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 14:27-31.
    • Ask: “According to verse 27, what kind of peace does Jesus give His disciples?” (a peace that is different from anything the world can offer – a peace that “passeth all understanding” – Phil. 4:7).
    • Ask: “According to verse 29, why did Jesus tell them all these things?” (to help them believe; to strengthen their faith).
    • Ask: “Why did Jesus say in verse 30 that He wouldn’t talk much more with His disciples?” (He was about to be arrested, tried, and crucified).
    • Tell the students the disciples were about to face the most troubling time of their lives: Jesus’ sudden arrest and brutal execution. Jesus promised to give them peace in the midst of whatever storms they might face.
    • Explain that in verse 31 Jesus clearly said He was obeying the Father’s commands.
    • The last phrase of verse 31 indicates that Jesus and His disciples arose from supper and began making their way to the Garden of Gethsemane.
    • Summarize: Jesus comforted His disciples by promising them peace

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the class that Jesus comforted His disciples by sharing at least four very important truths with them. Give everyone a copy of the handout sheet titled “Comfort in Troubling Times.” Read each of the four ways Jesus comforted His disciples. After reading each one, ask: “Why would that truth comfort the disciples?”

Tell the students it is interesting to learn that Jesus comforted His disciples the night before His crucifixion; but if that is all we learn, then this lesson has no real value for us. The important truth for us to take from this Sunday School class is that Jesus can comfort us when we face troubling times.

Ask everyone to think of a time they faced trouble, discouragement, or heartbreak. Read the four ways Jesus comforts us from the “Comfort in Troubling Times” handout sheet. After reading each item, ask: “Why would that truth comfort us in times of trouble?”

Encourage everyone to keep their handout sheet in their Bible or other location where they can refer to it when times of trouble come (someone in your class probably needs that comfort right now). Urge everyone to trust Jesus’ promises and assurances whenever they face trouble, hurt, or sorrow. Lead a closing prayer, asking God to comfort those who need it.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask the students if they know anyone who is facing troubling or uncertain times. Suggest that they try to use these truths to comfort that person this week. Ask everyone to memorize John 14:15.

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