Who Is Jesus: BONUS Discussion Guide

Core Group Discussion Guide
Series: Who is Jesus?
Week one: Jesus is The Word

Contributing writers for the series: Dan Hutti, Rebekah Backowski, Kelley Webber

Opening prayer

Jesus, you have been in this world since the very beginning, and you created us. Thank you for bringing us here at this moment. Thank you for this time together and for your presence. Please be with us in this conversation and open our hearts and our minds as we discuss who you are. In your name we pray. Amen.

Ice breaker

This week’s sermon discussed Jesus as the “word.” So, it only makes sense to talk about the Wordle for a minute. In 2021, Josh Wardle created the online word game called “Wordle.” Each day, players have six chances to guess a five letter word, and a new word is generated each day. The game has become tremendously popular with millions of daily players. The word “Wordle” itself was actually the top google search term of 2022. Have you heard of it? Do you play the Wordle or any other word games...Scrabble or Crossword, anyone? What do you like or not like about them? Do you feel relaxed or stimulated during and/or after completion?

Circle back

Last week we were encouraged to reflect on the Lenten daily devotionals. This season offers us a focused time for activities which draw us closer to God, such as prayer, service, fasting, repentance, giving, etc. Your CoreGroup can be a great place to share your thoughts on the devotion each day...maybe via an email forward or group text chat. Share with the group: This week did any particular daily reflection especially resonate or challenge you? Have you felt God moving in your heart yet this season? If so...how so? If not...what might help your heart be more open and/or motivated?


Take a few moments to read the following scripture from the book of John.

John 1:1-5 -The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.


The idea that God and Jesus could be a word is a little confusing in English. However, none of the authors of the Bible wrote in English! Let's consider how the word “WORD” might have appeared to readers when this verse was originally written. 

In Greek, “word” is translated to “logos,” which refers to both spoken and unspoken words....to include thoughts and reasoning. In Hebrew, "word" is translated to “davar,” which refers to law and order...such as rules which govern the universe. 

  1. Try this! Take one of the definitions above (i.e. reason, principle, logic, law, blueprint) and fill it in the following blank: Jesus is the ________.  Now substitute an alternate word in the blank. How does your understanding of Jesus as the 'WORD' change with replacement?


These words might seem very different from how you picture and feel about God and/or Jesus. Think back to childhood or when you first learned about Jesus. Imagine your first images & thoughts of and experiences with Him. Describe what you think of and how you feel. How is that image or feeling different today?

Throughout this sermon series as we seek to explore the question WHO IS JESUS, John's gospel helps us with 5 themes:
1) Rebirth - the concept of being "born again" of water and spirit
2) Jesus' identity -  Jesus is the one and only God.  John 1:5 refers to light shining through the darkness.  The identity of Jesus is based on who his followers are.  Those in the light are his sheep & his followers, and those in the darkness do not have a relationship with Him.
3) Relationship - "The Word was with God," (V.1) clarifying the intimacy between God and Jesus and inviting us to share in its abundance.
4) Witness - Our calling as Christ's disciples to share Him with others.
5) Abundance - God's overflowing grace
Which of these themes astounds you the most?  Do you struggle [believing and/or implementing] any of them?


During the upcoming week, reflect on the following 2 questions:
1. Who Jesus is to you?
2. How does he fit into your life?
Next week you'll be encouraged to check in with each other for these responses in the “Circle Back” section of this discussion guide. 

Also, here’s a reminder to check out the Gathering’s daily Lenten Devotional. It’s actually written by a handful of people in the congregation who are wrestling with the same things we are each day. To sign up, simply click on this link to sign up. The daily devotion will arrive in your email inbox each morning during Lent. Although Lent is often considered a time for individual reflection, preparation, and prayer, your CoreGroup is also a great place to share your thoughts on the devotion each day. Over the next six weeks, check in with each other about the ways God is working in your heart during this season.

Closing Prayer

Jesus, We thank you for this discussion, for this group, and for our church. You are love and that is the divine logic underlying our universe. This week, please help us remember this and let it be reflected in our hearts and through our actions. It's in your name we pray. Amen.

In addition to our main discussion guide this sermon series the Praxis team will guiding us through a deeper look at the book of John. 
Praxis Questions:  Notice and Name

So have you ever thought about the fact that Christianity is only a bit over 2,000 years old and yet the world is about 4.5 BILLION years old?!  That's a long time for God to be working in the world before Jesus shows up.  The first chapter of John gives us an idea of what God was up to for those 4.5 billion years. 

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
 in readiness for God from day one.
Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him. (The Msg)

What was God up to?  How is God related to this "Word?"

Then later in the chapter John writes: 

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish. (The Msg) 

Does the "Word" change from these first verses to verse 14?  What does this teach us about who God is? What does this teach us about who Jesus is? 

Some people are more comfortable referring to "God" and some are more comfortable referring to "Jesus."  Over the next week, notice how you distinguish God and Jesus and where you feel most connected and where you perhaps feel some resistance to our names for God.  

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