The Essential Jesus – Week 1 Readings & Questions

Attached you will find the list of readings for the first week of our Essential Jesus sermon series. The readings are all pretty short and they each come with a couple questions to help you process what you’ve just read. Some people read them all at once, while others spread them out over the week. Do whatever works for you.

We will discuss the themes for each week’s readings in the sermon on the Sunday following our “homework.” (That means we’ll tackle this first week’s readings next Sunday, January 17.) And then on the following Wednesday, our zoom bible study will go into more detail and address and questions you may have.

This Wednesday’s study (on January 13 at 6:30), will go into more detail on the background of the gospels talked about in today’s sermon.

Also attached are some tips for doing the readings — find a bible you like (some people are using more than one), read and discuss with others if possible, and check out our Cross of Glory website for more information.

It’s great to have you join us — and feel free to invite friends!!!


Essential Jesus Readings – Week 1

The links to the readings use the NRSV translation. To use other translations, click here and navigate to your preferred translation.

January 17 — Who is Jesus? 

  1. Truth Beyond Facts: John 1:1-18

Jesus is called the “true light” here? Why? What sources of “light” do people you know turn to? How is Jesus the “true light” to you?

  1. Living Like Jesus: Philippians 2:1-11

What characteristics of Jesus’ life do you find here? What challenges do they offer you? Why is it hard to be humble and have a servant spirit? What’s one thing you can do to imitate Jesus?

  1. It’s All About Jesus—Colossians 1:15-23

What does this passage tell you about God and Jesus? What else would you like to know about God? Are there any claims about Jesus that you find hard to believe? In your opinion, what are the “basics” about Jesus?

  1. What is God Like? Hebrews 1:1-4

What do you learn about Jesus from these verses? What do most people you know think about Jesus? How does that differ from what is said here?

  1. The Big Church: 1 Peter 2:4-10

How does Peter describe followers of Jesus here? How does your church measure up? How do you feel you measure up?

Reflection Questions About These Readings:

  1. What would you say is the most common understanding about Jesus today? How do you see him portrayed in popular culture – movies, novels, music, etc.?
  2. What do you think about Jesus? Do you think Jesus is different from any other of the world’s religious leaders? If so, how?
  3. What claims do this week’s readings make about Jesus? Are they credible? Why or why not?


Other Essential Jesus Info

Here are some things to consider as we journey through this sermon series:

  1. Get a bible you like for reading the passages. Cross of Glory does have some used bibles that we would love to give you. If you have any questions about selecting a bible or would like a bible from Cross of Glory, contact pastor Dana.
  2. It’s always better to read with others. If possible, try to find one or two other people to read and discuss the passages with you.
  3. Additional information and links to other resources will be on our Cross of Glory website to help you get the most out of this series. Check it out at

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