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Sabbath School Lessons on The Role of the Church in the Community
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 40 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 10: Jesus Won Their Confidence *
Introduction: Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that what
God desires most in my life is an attitude of trust in Him. What do
you think God desires most of you? I imagine that if I heard your
answers, I could tie them all to trust. If you think that God most
desires your love, that would mean that you trust Him. If you think
God most desires your obedience, that means that you trust that His
directions in life are best. Just as we need to trust God, so we need
to help others to trust. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and
- Trusting Jesus
- Read John 13:33. How do you think the disciples felt about
- Would it be a blow to know that they were being
treated just like "the Jews?" (Jesus is going to
leave them and they cannot come and they cannot find
Him. In that regard they are like everyone else.)
- Read John 13:34-35. What does this have to do with being
- Read John 13:36-37. Do you think Peter is paying any
attention to the "love one another" statement Jesus just
made? (No! He is still extremely troubled about Jesus
leaving - and leaving him behind.)
- Why does Peter think he should be able to come?
(Because he would die for Jesus.)
- Is Peter's willingness to die tied to the verses he
ignored - that Jesus' disciples should love one
another? (The ultimate act of love is giving up your
life for another.)
- Read John 13:38. When you think about the story of Peter's
denial and Jesus' crucifixion (Matthew 26-27), can you
begin to see the great sadness that Peter felt after he
let Jesus down? Have you felt that kind of sadness?
- Read John 14:1. What is Jesus asking of the disciples? (He
asks them to trust Him. He asks them to have confidence in
- Read John 14:2-4. It turns out that the disciples can
follow Jesus after all! What is the great hope of the
- Let's revisit some odd things Jesus said. Re-read John
13:36. What does Jesus mean "you will follow later?" (John
13 takes place just before Jesus' death. When Jesus tells
the disciples they cannot follow, He seems to be primarily
talking about his suffering and death. Later in life, they
will suffer and die for Jesus. It is Jesus' suffering and
death that gives them the hope of heaven - which is the
place where they can follow Him!)
- What does this sequence of events; Jesus' suffering,
crucifixion and resurrection, teach us about
confidence? (It is when we are suffering (or those we
love are suffering) that retaining confidence in
God's ultimate victory is most important.)
- When Peter says that he is willing to die for Jesus
( John 13:37), does this show that Peter truly
understands that Jesus is talking about following Him
into the death of crucifixion?
- Read John 14:5. It seems that Thomas is not the smartest
of the disciples, but I'm sure he is asking a question
they would all like to have answered. How would you
answer this question based on your current knowledge? How
can they follow Jesus?
- Read John 14:6. I'm sure Thomas is still confused by that
answer! He was looking for a street address. How do you
understand Jesus' answer? (The path to heaven goes
"through" Jesus. Jesus' coming death and resurrection, if
we understand and accept("the way and truth"), will give
us eternal life.)
- Read John 14:8-11. On what basis is Jesus asking for us to
have confidence in Him? To have confidence that He is the
Son of God? (His words, His life and His miracles.)
- Trusting Us: the Goal
- Read John 14:12. For what reason can we do "greater
things" than Jesus? (Because Jesus is "going to the
- Why do you think that is true? (The only logical
answer seems to be that we are now taking the place
of Jesus on earth in terms of bringing people to
- Read John 14:13-14. Have you found this promise to be
true? Have you asked for something in the name of Jesus
and not received it?
- I suspect all of us can answer, "yes." If so, how do
you explain what seems to be a very clear promise?
(The context of the promise is this: inspiring
confidence and belief in Jesus and the Father, and
bringing glory to them. Was your request about
bringing glory to God or bringing glory to you?)
- Read John 14:15-17. If we are now the agents of God, what
help do we have? (The Holy Spirit.)
- Let's think about this a moment. Jesus tells the
disciples to trust in Him, says that He is going
away, and we are now His agents. What is our task
when it comes to confidence? (At a minimum, it seems
that we want people to trust us as God's agents. If
Jesus linked trust in God to trust in Him, it seems
this work is now being passed on to us. The big
difference, of course, is that Jesus is God and we
- Jesus says ( John 14:15) "If you love Me, you will
obey what I command." What, exactly, is Jesus
commanding? (Trusting Jesus and bringing others to
- Read John 14:18-21. Jesus just told us that the Holy
Spirit lives in us. Now He says that we (Jesus, the Father
and us) are all "in" each other. He says that we will see
Him. What does this strange language mean? (At a minimum,
it means that we have a very close relationship.)
- Again Jesus speaks of obedience and love. I am
convinced that Jesus gave us His commands to make our
lives better, rather than as a standard to judge us.
This text takes our understanding even deeper. Why
would keeping Jesus' commands allow Him to "love and
show" Himself to us? (If God gave us His commandments
as a roadmap to a better life, that connects God's
love to obedience. Obeying God makes our life
- How does obedience to God's commands allow us
to better see God? How does this "show" us God?
(A lot of the commands have to do with how we
treat others. This helps us to better
- Trusting Us: the Caution
- Read Deuteronomy 4:1-2. What are the two cautions God
gives us about His rules? (Do not add to them or subtract
- If we fail to follow this advice, can we create a
trust issue? For example, what is the trust issue if
we "subtract" from God's rules? (If we say we keep
them, and we do not, then we are hypocrites. The goal
of the rules is to make our life better. If we don't
follow the whole rule, likely we won't have the full
benefit of the blessing - and that makes God seem as
if He has let us down.)
- What is the trust issue if we "add" to God's rules?
(We mislead others about God's rules. Violating a
made-up rule will have no consequence. This might
embolden others to violate real rules and then truly
- Read Deuteronomy 4:5-8. How can following God's rules
cause those who do not believe in God to be interested in
- Read Acts 7:9-10. If you think that people will not trust
you because of your "ordinary" status in life, what lesson
can we learn from Joseph? When Joseph was in Egypt, did he
start from a place of trust? (No! He was first a slave,
and then a slave who was tossed in prison ostensibly for
committing a crime. These are not positions that naturally
give you credibility.)
- Friend, no matter your status in life, you can both trust
God and inspire trust in God for those around you.
Consider your life. Do you trust God? Are you inspiring
trust in God? If your answers concern you, why not ask the
Holy Spirit, right now, to help you to trust God and to
inspire trust in God?
- Next week: Jesus Bade Them, "Follow Me."
* Copr. 2016, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.