Moving Out of Failure (Study Questions)

Here are the discussion questions that accompany my message from this past weekend “Moving Out of Failure” on John 21 at Eastbrook Church.

Discussion Questions

  1. The last chapter in the Gospel of John is a uniquely personal interchange between Peter and Jesus. Take some time to familiarize yourself with Peter as he appears in John’s Gospel, as well as the other gospels. You may want to read John 1:35-42; 6:16-24, 60-71; 13:1-38; 18:10-11, 15-18, 25-27; 20:1-10; Matthew 1:18-22; 14:22-36; 17:1-13; Luke 5:1-11.
  2. What do you notice about the disciples in the first four verses? What are they doing? What is going on? Who is there and who isn’t? Why is it significant that no fish were caught at night?
  3. When Jesus appears to the disciples, He appears as a stranger speaking from the shore. When He gives them fishing advice, they immediately know who He is (vv. 5-7). Why do you think this is?
  4. Peter impulsively jumps out of the boat to reach shore. What was going on in Peter at this point, do you think?
  5. In the background of Jesus’ three-part conversation with Peter is Peter’s three-part denial of Jesus. If you haven’t read that, take a moment to read John 18:1-27.
  6. In order to get at Peter’s motivation and attitudes toward Him, Jesus asks a persistent question of Peter. Peter responds differently the third time. Why do you think Peter was ‘hurt’ by Jesus asking this three times? What do you think Jesus was doing with Peter through His questions?
  7. Peter was given the task of shepherding Jesus’ sheep, which were the immediate disciples around him. Read 1 Peter 5:1-4 and Luke 22:31-32. Reflect on what Peter was called to do. How did Peter’s experience of failure and restoration equip him for this task?
  8. In the midst of his conversation with Jesus, Peter begins to get distracted by those around him (see vv 20-21). How does Jesus respond to this? Why do you think Jesus responds in this way to Peter?
  9. Think of a time in your life when you have failed God. Maybe it is something in the past or maybe it is a situation you are in the midst of right now. Have a conversation with Jesus like Peter did. Ask Him to search through you, testing your motives and attitudes. Ask Him to restore you, forgive you, and guide you again. If you are in a group, share your experiences together, taking time to pray for one another. If you are studying on your own, write down some of the words God spoke to you in your journal or Bible.

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