For the leader: Before you begin, pick and choose from the questions below. Ask yourself: “Which of these questions will get conversation going and fit our group best?” You won’t have time to do them all.

Ice Breaker: We think one of the best things about our groups is that you can have fun together!  Do you have the “Heads Up!” app? This is a quick and easy way to have a little fun together as you start your time together.

Note: It may be helpful to do a quick recap of the “Why” of the book of John. Remind your group that the acts of Jesus recorded in this book are more than just miracles–they are signs to point us to the bigger story of Jesus–so that we would believe in Him!

Sign #1: Turning water to wine at the wedding feast.
Sign #2: Healing the nobleman’s son.

In order to demonstrate who he was, Jesus performed a number of miracles—which the apostle John referred to as “signs.” The first of those signs was at a joyous occasion where Jesus turned water into wine. The second sign was in the midst of a heartbreaking circumstance in which a father desperately asks Jesus to heal his dying son.

Start Talking

  • What’s an example of something you believe (or believed) based solely on what someone else told you about it?
  • Tragedy can often cause people (even those who claim to not believe in God) to look up—whether it’s questioning or shaking our fists. Why do you think that is?
  • The first Christ followers believed because of what they actually saw and heard. John, encourages his readers to believe in the same way. His hope is that we would believe in Jesus because of what he has seen and heard, not just on faith (John 20:30-31). In fact, he reminds us in another book he wrote (1 John) that what he shares with us is from his own experience (1 John 1:1-3). Have you had any new insights about Jesus since our conversation last week about his first sign at the wedding feast?

What About You?

  • Who do you know that is a “Believe in-spite-of” person (Meaning they just trust God despite their circumstances)? Do you consider yourself to be this type of person? IF you don’t consider this to be true of you now, have you been this type of person in the past?
  • Johns hope is that his writings would cause us to believe Jesus and that as a result we would experience eternal life (John 20:30-31). Eternal life is not something that starts when we die. Eternal life is living this life knowing there is something beyond this life. When we understand this, we live this life in a very different way. How have you seen this to be true?
  • Jesus’ first sign was a celebration and his second sign was in sickness. It is important to note that he Meets us in both good and bad situations. How have you found this to be true in your own life?

Look It Up

  • Read John 4:46-54, where the apostle John recounts the story of Jesus healing a government official’s son.
    • How familiar is this story to you? Is there anything you just read that stands out as new information?
    • What are some details about this story that would lead a reader to believe that this actually happened?
    • What signs/important interactions  had Jesus already had that caused the man to come to him? Like the Father in this story, when have you ever felt desperate for Jesus to help you?
    • In verse 48, what seems to be Jesus’ main motivation for performing this miracle?
    • In verse 53, what type of emotion do you think the official had when he realized his son was being healed at the same time he had been talking to Jesus?
    • John tells us that the official and his entire household believed. How was this miracle not just a random act of kindness, but more of a strategic plan by Jesus?
  • The official was desperate for Jesus to personally come to his son, but instead he ended up going home without Jesus. He didn’t know for sure his son was healed until he was told later. In what ways does our entire life here mirror that one day that the leader had to wait until he got word that his son was healed?
  • The man decided to believe Jesus.  He went home, on faith. We learn later, that Jesus had answered the man’s prayer before the man knew it. What does it look like to walk in faith (based on evidence) when your prayer is not yet answered?
  • After the man shared his story, His whole household believed (John 4:53-54). The man had heard what Jesus had done for others, and He believed. The man’s family had heard what Jesus did for him, and they believed. They each had seen evidence of Jesus being who he said he was. Seeing is believing. What have you heard that has made you believe Jesus is who He says He is? What have you seen in your lifetime that helps you believe Jesus is who he says He is?

What Now?

  • This man had to trust without his prayer yet answered. Whom have you seen live this way? When have you had to live this way?
  • The testimony of others is what prompted the leader to seek Jesus for help. How might our testimonies cause people to seek Jesus?
  • Walking by faith is more than just hoping. Walking by faith is living as if what Jesus/God says is true. Here are just a FEW things Jesus/God says:
  • Of this short list of God’s promises–which one do you need to believe today? How does the testimony of others help you believe this truth?

Final Thought

Jesus recognized there would be people who would believe in him who were not eyewitnesses (US!) to his miracles, and he looked into the future and calls us blessed—in other words, happy, joyful, and peaceful.

Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. —John 20:29

Helpful Resources

The Language of God by Francis Collins (Book)
The Question of God: Interview with Francis Collins (Interview Transcript)