Entourage Discussion Guide - Week Two

CoreGroup Guide | Entourage - Week Two

Written by Parker Patton and Dan Hutti

This week during our sermon series Entourage, we will continue to explore the stories of the people who surrounded Jesus during his final days before the crucifixion. We now focus on one of the most infamous characters in the Bible, and certainly the most infamous of the disciples: Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus. 

Opening Prayer

Hey God, thank you for the gift of being together with this wonderful group of people. As we explore more about those around you during your time on earth, help open our minds and hearts to your love and compassion. Help us uncover truths and insights from this discussion and in the discussions to come. We love you and we thank you for your presence and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Ice Breaker

This week we are talking about Judas, a character who represents betrayal in the Bible. Can you think of a betrayal in a movie, TV show, book, sports, etc. that you can’t let go of? 

Examples – Scar betraying Mufasa in The Lion King, Pujols signing with the Angels, one of the countless Game of Thrones betrayals, etc.

The Head

Despite playing a crucial role in Jesus’ story, we don’t have much background on Judas. In the gospels, we are told he was one of the twelve disciples, that he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and that after the crucifixion he chose to end his own life (presumably out of regret and shame over his betrayal). We have a few other short passages sprinkled throughout Matthew and John that tell us Judas was the treasurer for the disciples, and a few moments where Jesus directly implies that Judas will betray him. When we think of Judas, our thoughts inevitably turn to the final interaction between Jesus and Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Luke 22:47-53 (CEB)

47 While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd appeared, and the one called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him. 48 Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son Of Man with a kiss?”

49 When those around him recognized what was about to happen, they said, “Lord, should we fight with our swords?” 50 One of them struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. 51 Jesus responded, “Stop! No more of this!” He touched the slave’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders who had come to get him, “Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, as though I were a thief? 53 Day after day I was with you in the temple, but you didn’t arrest me. But this is your time, when darkness rules.”

  • Why do you think Judas specifically chose to use a kiss to identify Jesus?
  • Why do you think Judas chose to betray Jesus? Was it really just for the money?
  • Why do you think Jesus stopped his disciples from fighting against the authorities with their swords?
  • Despite being known as the ultimate traitor in the Bible, Jesus would not have been crucified and resurrected were it not for Judas. What lessons can we learn about God from the story of Judas?

The Heart

There’s a great quote from Nadia Bolz Weber’s book Accidental Saints that is relevant here:

“How is it that Judas, who betrayed Jesus once and was filled with remorse, became the villain, while Peter, who denied Jesus three times and wept bitterly, became the rock on which the church was built? When it comes down to it, what is the difference between Peter and Judas? Well, maybe nothing. And maybe there’s not a whole lot of difference between us and them too.”

  • If you are comfortable, begin to think of a time you may have betrayed another person, or a time when someone betrayed you. How did you feel in the moment? 
  • How do you feel now looking back at the situation?
  • How has God used betrayal (or another similar breakdown of a relationship) to bring about a change in your life, or maybe an opportunity you wouldn’t have had otherwise?

Our current Entourage sermon series is focused on characters who are imperfect, but Judas clearly takes the cake when it comes to imperfections. Instead of asking ourselves how we can mimic him, it may help to focus on what feelings or thoughts come to mind when you read the story of Judas’ betrayal. 

  • Picture yourself in the garden that night when Jesus was arrested. If you were one of the disciples, how do you think you would have reacted to Judas’ betrayal? Would you have been able to forgive him? Why or why not?
  • Words like “betrayal,” “sin,” and “rebellion” all evoke certain emotions. What does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean to you when it comes to these topics?
  • Do you feel there are any sins so terrible that God might not forgive them? If so, which ones? Would God forgive Judas for his betrayal?

The Hands

This week, take time to focus on your thoughts and emotions as you interact with others and spend time with God. Reflect on the times you have felt betrayed, or the times you may have betrayed other people. It may help to keep a journal or use the notes app on your phone to jot down these feelings/memories as they come up.

  • Describe a situations where you feel you may be subtly betraying someone in your life, yourself or maybe even God? Are there situations where you feel others may have betrayed you?
  • Going even deeper, are there situations in your life where you feel God may not be coming through for you? Ask God for clarity and reassurance that God will always be with you and guide you to where you are meant to be.
  • If you begin to feel shame, fear, or frustration surrounding these situations, try turning your thoughts to Jesus’ death and resurrection. During this Lenten season, how can you remind yourself in practical ways of Jesus’ unending love and desire to forgive you?

Closing Prayer

God, thank you for this time together. Please guide us this week as we let the story of Judas sit with us and remind us that we are imperfect people who make mistakes. We ask for your forgiveness, and for reminders of your sacrifice on the cross and what it means for us. Help us forgive others as you have forgiven us. Be with us this week as we go about our lives and navigate relationships in light of your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz Weber

CoreGroup Next Steps

With more than 80 CoreGroups so far I’m challenging all of you show up for One CoreGroup One Day on Tuesday, April 16 at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary at McCausland.
This will be the FIRST time (in a while) that all CoreGroup members, leaders and coaches will convene. It’s going to be a fun, informative and transformative time! The purpose is to experience the energy of being in one place, celebrate the highlights of CoreGroups, look to the Fall and talk about what it means to be MADE FOR MORE... BELONGING. 

There will be food, worship, prizes, pictures, and so much more. Register here.

If we fill the sanctuary with 500+ people I’m going to get my first tattoo, which I keep putting off, but really want to do. Let’s go! Invite your entire group to be present and sign up today. 

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