Small Group Questions

What If  

Introduction:

Of all the “what ifs” in history, the most profound by far is “what if Jesus had never been born?” We would first lose our primary means of understanding the nature of God; without Jesus’ earthly experiences to look back on. We would never know how intimately our God identifies with us. Secondly, we would lose our victory over evil in both the present and the future. There would be no salvation from sin, no victory over the devil, no life after death, and no assurance that right will eventually prevail over wrong. In short, we would have no hope. And that does not include Jesus Christ’s influence on world history, helping the poor, education, civil liberties, science, health, medicine, morality, the arts, and music.

Bottom line: What if Jesus was never born?

Something To Talk About:

1. We would not know what God is like:

  • From the beginning of human history, we’ve been hungry to know who God is, and God revealed what He is like by sending his Son. The birth of Jesus Christ was not the ordinary birth of an ordinary man. It was the birth of the most unique person in history. The birth of Jesus Christ was the incarnation of God Himself. In other words, God became a man. The significance of this is profound and will take all eternity for us to appreciate. The conception and birth of Jesus Christ was the mingling of God with humanity.
  • That’s why Isaiah wrote that God became “Immanuel, God with us.” Otherwise, God would have no face, no ears, no heart that we could understand, because, as Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9); and “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30). If Jesus had not come on Christmas, we would have no knowledge of what God is like. We would not understand how He could identify with us and how we could relate to Him.
  • If Jesus had not come, we would not know God’s complete faithfulness. We would not know the fullness of God’s love. We would not know the depths of God’s grace and compassion.
  • We understand God the Father through Christ. We comprehend the Father’s nature and character through the Son—not through ancient philosophies or the incomplete, often-misleading knowledge of human beings. Because Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?” (John 14:9), the resemblance between the Father and the Son must be strong in more ways than we may humanly imagine. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What would the world look like if you were never born?
  2. What would the world look like if Jesus had never been born?
  3. What are some things that would change if Jesus never existed?
  4. Reflect on the impact that Jesus has had on the course of human history. Share one or more ways in which Jesus’ life has changed the world, and one way that it has changed them.
  5. How is Jesus still changing the world?
  6. How does John 1:1-14, 18, help clarify the relationship between God and Jesus? Why is this so important?

Take One Thing Home with You:

Nobody has changed the world the way Jesus has. Nobody.

Throughout history, the influence Jesus had on the lives of people has never been surpassed. No other great leader has inspired so many positive changes in the lives of His followers. People who encounter the risen Christ are totally transformed. Their outlook on life is altered forever. Staying true to their faith, they do not hesitate to face hardship, persecution and even death. Many devote their lives to serving others, minimizing their own needs and desires.

And there is one event in history that is unparalleled in its effect upon the world—the resurrection of Christ. Nothing like this had ever happened before, and nothing since has equaled it. When Jesus rose from the grave, the impact was felt immediately and has continued to reverberate throughout the world. This event shook religions, cultures, governments, and individuals, too, as one by one, believers have been transformed by Christ’s resurrection power.

What would this world be like if the story of Jesus had ended in the New Testament?