Peace in the Face of Tragedy, John 16:5-33

Lesson Summary

  • Main Passage: John 16:5-33
  • Main Point of the Passage: Jesus told his disciples that his going away was to their advantage, so they could be at peace.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: Jesus’ execution looked like the worst thing that could happen to the disciples, but it was actually the best thing.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Group members will choose peace even when they face tragedy.

 Discussion Guide

Smile Question: “First question: What is your favorite candy?”

Tip: Encourage everyone to answer this first question.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________

Share Question: “Next question: Tell about a time something seemed bad, but it actually turned out to be good.”

Tip: Prepare your answer beforehand and share it first. This will give people time to think, and it will set the tone for how long and how personal each person’s answer should be.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________

Introduce the Text: “Sometimes God allows us to go through tragedies that look disastrous, but they actually result in better things for us.”

“In John 16, Jesus told his disciples that his going away was to their advantage, so they can be at peace. It was the night before Jesus was executed. He knew that his disciples didn’t understand why he was going to die. So he took a moment to explain to them. In John 16:5-7, Jesus said, ‘but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.'”

Study Question: “As we read John 16:5-33, let’s look for reasons that Jesus’ execution was actually to the disciples’ advantage.”

Tip: You can split into smaller groups and assign one set of verses to each group, or you can read through the passage together looking for answers. If you plan on asking people to read aloud, be sure you ask whether a person is comfortable reading aloud before your group time begins.


  • The Holy Spirit will come to convict the world. (7-11)
  • The Holy Spirit will guide you in all truth. (12-15)
  • Jesus will rise from the dead, never to die again (16-22)
  • The Father will give them whatever they ask in Jesus’ name (23-28)
  • Jesus’ resurrection will show that he has overcome the world (29-33)
Connect-the-Dots Question: “Next Question: What do you think would have been different that night and the next day if the disciples had understood and believed what Jesus was telling them?”

Tip: Don’t give your answer right away. This question will probably require quite a bit of thought. Don’t be afraid of the silence while people think about their answers.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________

Count-the-Cost Question: “Next Question: What is something you are facing now that couldn’t possibly seem like a good thing?”

My answer: _________________________________________________________________

Let’s-Do-It Question: “Last Question: What would you do differently if you believed without a doubt that that situation was actually to your advantage?”

My answer: _________________________________________________________________

Prayer: “I’m going to lead us in prayer now asking God to help us trust his good plan even when we face situations that seem bad.”

“Father, help each one of us to trust your good plan even when the situations we face seem like they couldn’t possibly be good. Help us to remember the hopelessness Jesus’ disciples felt and the hope that Jesus’ words brought to them and to us. Amen.”