Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Friday, October 25, 2013

28 Stories - Study 7: Like Father, Like Son


Fundamental: God the Father


Bible Story 
Jesus slowly scanned the faces of those in the room. He’d been speaking for quite awhile and His words had silenced the disciples. He finished, “I will do what the Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love the Father.” Jesus stood up from the table, walked to the door and, with an air of finality, spoke over his shoulder, “Come, let’s get going.”
The disciples looked at each other in frustration. They could hear the footsteps of Jesus heading down the stairs but they struggled to follow.
“What just happened?” James asked.
“You were here, James,” Peter blurted. “First He washed our feet and then it was all downhill from there.”
“What do you mean, ‘downhill’?” John questioned. “He was talking about Love—His love for us. And His love for His Father.”
“And His Father’s love for us,” Peter finished. “Why did He wash our feet? And what did He mean, ‘Wash each others feet?’ Isn’t that why we have servants?”
“What just happened?” James asked again. “Where did Jesus go?”
“Maybe he’s going to find Judas,” Peter answered.
“But, where did Judas go?” James asked. “And why did he leave in the middle of the meal?”
Peter had an answer for that one, “I told John to ask about that, remember? He left because Jesus said Judas was going to betray him.”
“Yeah, but he said the same thing about you,” John retorted.
“Did not!” Peter snapped, “He said I would deny him.”
“Three times,” John said. “Isn’t that betrayal?”
Peter’s crossed his arms and let his face fall slowly to the table. He was fighting tears. “I said I would die for him,” Peter mumbled.
“That’s what I mean,” James repeated. “What just happened? This was supposed to be a Passover meal. Then he washed our feet.”
“And everything went downhill from there,” Peter repeated into the table. “I should have just let him wash my feet and not argued.” His shoulders shook involuntarily as he tried to mask his gentle sobs.
“And then,” James continued, “He said the bread was His flesh!”
“And the wine was His blood,” John added, shaking his head.
“What just happened?” James asked yet again.
“Jesus is going away,” Philip spoke for the first time. “And He said we can’t go with Him.”
“But He just said, ‘come’ as He went out the door,” James stated.
“He’s talking about something bigger.” John said, “Much bigger. He talked about His Father. I think he’s going to see his Father—I mean ‘God’.”
“That’s why I asked him to show us the Father,” Philip answered. “He said He had shown us the Father. I can’t remember meeting Him. Can you?”
“If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father,” John almost whispered. “That’s what he said. He and the Father are one and the same.”
“Is He really that close to God?” Peter lifted his head off the table and finished his thought, “Is he really so close to the Father in Heaven that their thoughts are one?”
“He said He would give us a gift,” John cut in, “peace of mind and heart.”
“I feel anything but peace!” Peter argued. “He said, if we really loved Him we would be happy he was going to the Father. Do you think he’s going to die?”
Everyone turned to look at Peter. He was staring out the open door.
They left the table as one and rushed into the night to find Jesus.


My Reflection
What would it have been like to hear Jesus talk about His Father? What did He mean when He said “We are one”?

What would you have said to the disciples if you were in the room that night?


My Story
Read John 13 and 14 and then reread the story at the beginning of this study. What stands out for you in John’s telling of this night in the life of the Disciples?

As a follower of Jesus, you are one of His Disciples; you are one with Jesus and the Father. What does this mean to you?


My Assurance
God’s identity and role in the universe is clearly established in the Bible. What assurances and promises about God are clear to you in the verses below?

Genesis 1:1 ~ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Revelation 4:11 ~ “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

John 3:16 ~ “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.


My Commitment
God the Father has been consistently involved in our salvation. What choices do the following verses about the Father encourage you to make in your life?

1 John 4:8 ~ But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Exodus 34:6 ~ The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.”

John 14:9 ~ Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?


My Outlook
God the Father has always been and always will be involved in the lives of humanity. How do the following verses show God’s involvement in the world around us in the past, present and future?

1 Timothy 1:17 ~ All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.

Exodus 34:7 ~ I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.”

1 Corinthians 15:28 ~ Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.


My Response
The following statement is the 3rd of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Review the doctrine and then write a personal response. What difference does this make to your life?

God the Father
God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father.

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Bible Story
The story at the beginning of this lesson is based on John 13 and 14.