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
learn more!

  1. Trusting Jesus

    1. Read John 13:33. How do you think the disciples felt about

      1. 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.)

    2. Read John 13:34-35. What does this have to do with being
      left behind?

    3. 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.)

      1. Why does Peter think he should be able to come?
        (Because he would die for Jesus.)

      2. 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.)

    4. 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?

    5. Read John 14:1. What is Jesus asking of the disciples? (He
      asks them to trust Him. He asks them to have confidence in

    6. Read John 14:2-4. It turns out that the disciples can
      follow Jesus after all! What is the great hope of the
      disciples? (Heaven!)

    7. 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!)

      1. 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.)

      2. 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?

    8. 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?

    9. 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.)

    10. 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.)

  2. Trusting Us: the Goal

    1. Read John 14:12. For what reason can we do “greater
      things” than Jesus? (Because Jesus is “going to the

      1. 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

    2. 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?

      1. 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?)

    3. Read John 14:15-17. If we are now the agents of God, what
      help do we have? (The Holy Spirit.)

      1. 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
        are not!)

      2. 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
        trust God.)

    4. 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.)

      1. 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

        1. 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
          understand God.)

  3. Trusting Us: the Caution

    1. Read Deuteronomy 4:1-2. What are the two cautions God
      gives us about His rules? (Do not add to them or subtract
      from them.)

      1. 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.)

      2. 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

    2. Read Deuteronomy 4:5-8. How can following God’s rules
      cause those who do not believe in God to be interested in
      following Him?

    3. 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.)

    4. 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?

  4. Next week: Jesus Bade Them, “Follow Me.”