Remain in me – John 14:1-14

Discussion questions PDF here

Read: John 14: 1-14 and John 15: 1-17

  1. It is interesting to note the context of Jesus’ words in John 14:1-4. He is comforting his disciples just before his crucifixion (he was concerned for their peace of mind). In what ways would his words have been comforting for them?
  2. Hugh said there are problems with translating the Greek word as “rooms” or “mansions”. What are some of these problems? How does the fact that this passage is often read at funerals, hinder our understanding of what Jesus is saying here? You may like to suggest a different translation for the word “rooms” – e.g. “dwelling” “residence” “abode”. Would that help our understanding?
  3. What is a better way of considering the meaning of Jesus’ words? Is he talking about heaven (i.e. after we die) or the present? Or both??
  4. How has Jesus changed our understanding of the Temple? (See John 1:14f and John 14:23) Consider what the Temple represented and what is different now. What are the implications of this?
  5. In John 14, John uses a word which is based on the Greek verb “to remain”. It is a similar word to that used in John 14:15f where we are told the Holy Spirit “remains” with us. This word is also used in the parable of the vine in John 15 where we are told to “remain” in the vine/in Christ. Does this help our understanding of verses 1-4? In what way?
  6. Read the section in John 15 about the vine. We are told we must “remain in” the vine (Jesus). How do we do that?
  7. There is a warning in this parable about those who don’t remain in the vine. What will happen to them? What does this mean?
  8. Has this sermon given you a different perspective on Jesus’ words in verses 1-4, and what it means to “remain”? You may find it helpful to summarise Hugh’s argument in a few sentences.

As Hugh said, “May we know the ‘deep seated peace and joy that comes about as we remain in Jesus.’” We can only remain in him because he remains in us.

Lesley Bloomfield