Small Group Notes – 13th May 2018
Theme: Jesus prays for his disciples
Readings: John 17:6-19
· God passed on to Jesus, and Jesus passes on to us, the full inheritance of God.
· The disciples inherited everything of Jesus’ ministry: his wisdom (revealed in his Old Testament faith), his parables (speaking truth into people’s lives), his gift of healing (both physical and of broken lives and relationships), a community and family with Jesus at its head.
· Jesus talked of sanctification, relationship with the world around. We are part of the world, but not of it. We inherit the values of the kingdom, which challenged the world through parables about a tenant farmer, the building of barns, and mustard seeds. We are called to represent ethical values which are different from the world around us, to forgive, to share what we have, to be prophetic voices. Sanctification comes through the complete inheritance Jesus passed on to his disciples.
· This prayer was made on the eve of the Easter story. He knew how difficult things would be when he could no longer be with them, no longer able to support them. He prayed they would be true heirs to the kingdom of God. It would cost them everything, but they could not do nothing – that would expose this world, and the whole of creation, to danger. He didn’t say, “Just go ahead and do exactly what you want to do”. Rather, “Focus on the inheritance I have given you. Look to me, and I will point the way to God. You will change the world around you, in a ripple effect through creation.”
· The prayer is a gift and a commission to his disciples.
· Now we are inheritors of the disciples’ tradition. We know because the disciples were obedient to God’s call, and we must pass on the core values of what it means to follow Jesus.
· How do we take this out into a hostile world? We will be challenged for our beliefs and values. (E.g. Neil’s conversation in the pub.) Are we ready to take out a message of hope and peace?
· Image of Beano character – Pete’s pockets. What falls out of our pockets? Healing, reconciliation, forgiveness, the love of God?
· We are sanctified to join the adventure and build the kingdom. We do not do it alone; we have a huge inheritance – Jesus and the Spirit which sustains us. “My hobby is to tell people of the love and glory of Christ.”
Questions of Application
1) What do you understand to be “the full inheritance of God”?
2) In your everyday life, how are you “in the world, but not of the world”?
3) How can we better focus on the inheritance we have received?
4) How can we ensure the right things do “fall out of our pockets2 as we go through life?
5) Pray for each other, and the encounters you will have in the coming week.