Session 7

What to do when friendship hurts

From John: A 21-Day Devotional

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John 7

As Jesus becomes more well-known, everyone has an opinion about what He should do next. His brothers ridiculed Him, a crowd calls Him demon-possessed, and religious leaders attempt to arrest Him.

Sometimes following God can lead you to lonely places. Jesus’ own brothers questioned His divinity and seemed to mock Him, pushing Him to go public and show everyone who He really was. Jesus dealt with criticism from His brothers, criticism from neighbors, and death threats from the religious leaders who should have been on His side.

“Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him” (John 7:18).

The very people who should have supported and sustained Jesus’ ministry turned against Him, yet He continued to do the right thing. Jesus did not grow bitter or angry; He did not plot revenge or plan a public relations campaign to promote Himself. Instead, Jesus chose not to take His rightful place as God. He chose to humble Himself, stay out of the confusion and offer spiritual refreshment to anyone who was looking for something new (John 7:37).

We can take heart because we’ve given our lives to the same Jesus that dealt with real life problems. When we feel lonely and left out, we know He felt the same way and responded in love. We can rest in the knowledge that Jesus suffered and faced hardship, but it never conquered Him. That means sorrow, loneliness, and hardships do not have to conquer us. No matter your circumstances, Jesus can understand exactly where you are and help you stand strong. Because Jesus faced loneliness, you do not have to face it alone.

• What can you learn about Jesus from this chapter?
• Do you have a troubled relationship with someone in your life? How can you respond to this person differently knowing you have the strength Jesus offers?
• Are you putting off a decision because you are afraid of the outcome or worried about being ostracized? How can you proceed?

7 of 21

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

What if God was one of us?

Jesus was with God when the world was created. He left heaven and entered the earth the way we did — through childbirth. Jesus was human,...

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Session 2

Maybe God is waiting on you

Jesus begins His ministry by turning water into wine at a wedding. A short time later, Jesus goes to Jerusalem for the Passover. When He ...

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Session 3

Are you afraid of the dark?

Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, visits Jesus at night to avoid being seen. Jesus tells Nicodemus that only those who believe in Him...

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Session 4

There’s only one way to heal your pain

Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well and asks her for a drink. Awed by what Jesus had to say, the woman brought everyone from town to ...

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Session 5

Follow Jesus, not a bunch of rules

Religious leaders get angry when Jesus heals a lame man on the day of rest. They get even angrier when Jesus claims to be God’s Son. For...

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Session 6

Do you have everything you need?

Jesus feeds 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, walks on water across stormy seas in the middle of the night, and follow...

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Session 7

What to do when friendship hurts

As Jesus becomes more well-known, everyone has an opinion about what He should do next. His brothers ridiculed Him, a crowd calls Him dem...

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Session 8

Who you know matters more than what you know

When religious leaders bring an adulterous woman to Jesus for judgment, it becomes a lesson in not judging others. Jesus goes on to expla...

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Session 9

What has Jesus done for you?

Jesus meets a blind man and heals him with a combination of dirt, spit, and the Holy Spirit. When the man’s neighbors learn about his hea...

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Session 10

Why working harder doesn’t make you happier

Jesus compares Himself to a good shepherd who feeds and cares for His sheep. Tired of Jesus’ metaphors, religious leaders corner Jesus at...

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Session 11

Jesus, where are you?

Jesus’ friend Lazarus falls ill, but by the time Jesus reaches Lazarus’ house, it’s too late. Jesus weeps for His friend then raises Laza...

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Session 12

Would you give it all?

Mary washes Jesus’ feet with perfume. The next day, Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey as crowds praise Him. Jesus explains why He’s ...

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Session 13

This is what forgiveness looks like

Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, and they share one last meal together. Jesus warns Peter about the separation to come, but Peter doesn’...

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Session 14

How to show Jesus you love Him

Jesus gives final instructions to His friends, explaining what they should do when He’s gone and tipping them off about the Counselor who...

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Session 15

Does your life need some pruning?

Continuing His parting words to His friends, Jesus explains that the way to stay connected to God is by following His example. He also wa...

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Session 16

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Jesus teaches His friends about the Holy Spirit and His role in their lives. He also teaches them the power of praying in His name. In t...

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Session 17

Who do you pray for?

Before heading to His death, Jesus stops and prays for Himself, His friends, and all of us who would believe in Him in the future. If yo...

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Session 18

Where do you turn when everything goes wrong?

Religious leaders arrest Jesus and take Him to the high priest for questioning. Peter follows behind and denies knowing Jesus. After hold...

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Session 19

Jesus did what we could not

Jesus is flogged and crucified. He dies on a cross and is buried in a nearby tomb. Right before Jesus took His last breath, He spoke the...

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Session 20

You can start over

Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ followers, goes to His tomb only to find that He’s not there! Jesus appears to Mary and several others, ful...

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Session 21

You can come back from that

Jesus appears one more time to His disciples while they are fishing. Jesus reassures Peter and encourages His disciples to always follow ...

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