If you’re short on prep time or just looking for some extra guidance, our weekly Leader Training is designed to help you lead your students through the week’s lesson.
This is the Leader Training for Session 9 of our Winter 2023 study of the Gospel of John, chapters 1–11 (suggested use date: January 29, 2023).
You can also download this week’s leader training in PDF format here.
Session 9: Sent by the Father
Key Text: John 7:14-31,37-46
Today we’ll read about a time when Jesus attended a religious celebration that remembered a long-ago season of physical thirst and how God saved and satisfied His people. At this feast, Jesus was surrounded by people who were parched by their own unbelief. Through His sharp teaching and even some shouting, He invited them to look to the only One who could satisfy their thirsty souls. Jesus was sent by the Father to save and satisfy the spiritually thirsty.
What kinds of claims did Jesus make about Himself here and elsewhere in John?
Jesus never tried to woo a crowd by telling them what they wanted to hear. Instead, He continuously offered truth, even if people would find it hard to receive. In today’s text, He claimed to be sent by God the Father—and accused the religious of not really knowing Him. Over and over again, we see that Jesus was not chasing human approval, and this helps us trust His word.
Keep in Mind:
— Today’s text mentions circumcision, which can be an awkward topic—and yet, it is a foundational sign in the Old Testament that helps us better understand the New Testament. We don’t want to overlook the parts of God’s Word that make us uncomfortable! It will serve your students well if you courageously lead these conversations by honestly admitting what’s weird yet inviting them to see what the weird stuff can teach them about God. See today’s “Give An Answer” section for help with this topic.
— We’ve already heard about spiritual thirst (and spiritual hunger!), so students may begin to feel as if they’ve already grasped the concept. But encourage students to press in, because on the other side of “I’ve already heard this!” is usually a deeper understanding that flows into life change. This theme keeps coming up for a reason!
The next time you experience “spiritual thirst,” what can you do?
FOR THE STUDENT: As students become more aware of their “spiritual thirst,” they can accumulate a “toolbox” of responses they can reach for when they discern thirst. This might be actions like prayer, journaling, reciting truths from Scripture, listing truths about God, or discussion with other believers.
FOR THE LEADER: As you help students discern their spiritual thirst and point them to the One who saves and satisfies, help them develop practices they can reach for when they discern spiritual thirst.
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