1. Read John 6.53-59 incarnationally. Where do you find yourself in this text?
2. This new study is called “The Hard Sayings of Jesus.” Of all that Jesus said or did, what’s the hardest saying for you to believe, receive, and really live?
3. On Sunday the Global Church celebrates Epiphany. What’s the historical significance of Epiphany? What do days or seasons like this mean to you? How do these kinds of days or seasons encourage you or challenge you? How can you fully embrace this season of Epiphany?
4. What is Jesus saying when He instructs us: “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (53)
5. Jesus uses the word “remain” or “abide” in verse 56. What is He saying here?
6. What is the life Jesus is inviting His hears into? What is one specific way you sense His life being formed in you? How are you living in that life today?
7. Where in your life are you desiring a greater “Epiphany?” Where do you have a sense of deep longing? How does that longing cause you to seek more the Kingdom of God?
8. Jesus says, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” (63) What does this mean to you? How does this passage bring you encouragement?
9. Read and reflect on the words of Dallas Willard. Nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overriding governance for good, hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil. In short, nondiscipleship costs you exactly that abundance of life Jesus said He came to bring (John 10:10). The cross-shaped yoke of Christ is, after all, an instrument of liberation and power to those who live in it with Him and learn the meekness and lowliness of heart that brings rest to the soul … The correct perspective is to see following Christ not only as the necessity it is but as the fulfillment of the highest human possibilities and as life on the highest plane.
10. How are you experiencing “abiding peace, a life penetrated by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God’s overarching goodness?”
11. The text continues to say that people kept turning away from Jesus because this teaching was so difficult. What made the teaching so difficult?
12. What’s the most difficult teaching of Jesus for our culture to accept? Cite the verse and context. Why is this so hard?
13. We have a collection of “Hard Sayings of Jesus.” Do you think Jesus ever had a hard time saying any of these things? What are some examples?
14. What do those examples say about the humanity of Christ and the Dignity of Christ?
15. Jesus says to His disciples? “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Describe the vulnerability of Jesus in these words. How is He revealing His heart for connection and intimacy?
16. How do the 12 respond to Jesus? Note their response here. Write, in your own words your response to Jesus.