Archive for the ‘Elijah’ tag
- At the transfiguration, God said to listen to His Son, Jesus, who fulfilled the Law and the Prophets for sinners.
- Law: Because of my sinfulness, I cannot keep the Law of God.
- Gospel: God’s Son, Jesus, satisfied the requirements of God’s Law for me and fulfilled all the promises made by God’s prophets to be my Savior.
- In order to set the stage for our study of the transfiguration, read Luke 9:18–27. Based on the prophecy in Isaiah 53 that the Christ would be the Lord’s Suffering Servant, how is the suffering and death of Jesus alluded to in Luke 9:18–20? According to 9:21–22, what is the ultimate mission of the Son of Man? How does 9:23–27 indicate that the Christian life will not consist of a string of unbroken glorious times? How does a Christian take up his cross daily and follow Jesus?
- The transfiguration story is filled with references and allusions to the Old Testament. Luke 9:29 describes Jesus’ physical transfiguration, when “the appearance of His face was altered, and His clothing became dazzling white.” Read Exodus 34:29–35. Who else’s face shone with divine glory—the glory of God? Where did this person go to meet with God? Luke 9:34–35 describes a cloud overshadowing the group, and the Father’s voice coming from the cloud. Read Exodus 24:12, 15–18. Who is involved in this story, and what does the cloud on the mountain represent? In Luke 1:76–79, how was the bright glory of Jesus foretold in the prophecy of John’s father, Zechariah?
- Moses and Elijah are the only two Old Testament figures who spoke with God on Mount Sinai. There are similarities between Moses and Elijah and Jesus, but the New Testament is emphatic in portraying Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets—one greater than any prophet. In Luke 9:35, Jesus is called “My Son, My Chosen One,” which are words that echo His Baptism in the Jordan. Neither Moses nor Elijah was ever called the “Son of God” or the “Chosen One.” In Luke 9:36, the disciples see that after all the excitement, “Jesus was found alone.” What could this tell us about the importance of Jesus in relation to Moses and Elijah? In John 1:14–17, to what could “we have seen His glory” refer? How does John depict the relationship between Moses and Jesus?
- The Greek word translated as “departure” in Luke 9:31 is actually exodos or Exodus. According to Psalm 78:51–55, what did God do for His people in the exodus? Based on Exodus 19:1–6, how do you think the exodus provided the basis for all the future promises of God? What do the Old Testament exodus and the New Testament one of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension have in common?
- We have already noted how the reference to Jesus’ exodus pointed to His passion, death, and resurrection. There are a number of other similarities and contrasts between the transfiguration and Jesus’ crucifixion. Read Luke 23:32–43 and identify some of these similarities and contrasts.
- In Luke 24:4, the two angels at the empty tomb are there in “dazzling apparel,” a description similar to Jesus’ appearance at the transfiguration. This suggests a connection between the divine glory of Jesus shown in the transfiguration and that of His subsequent glorification shown by the resurrection. It also points forward to the glory that we will share with Him when we are raised from the dead on the Last Day. What connection is there between Luke 24:44–47 and the transfiguration account?
- Have you ever wondered what people talk about in heaven? Based on our lesson today, what do you think they talk about? What does this teach us about our lives here on earth?
- What do we find Jesus doing in Luke 3:21–22 and 9:18–20? According to Luke 9:28, for what reason did Jesus go up on the mountain? What does this tell us about the transfiguration account? How could Jesus’ example apply to our own lives?
- In Luke 9:35, the Father declares from heaven, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” Read Deuteronomy 18:15–19. How does this passage from Moses shed light on the words of the Father at the transfiguration? The last part of the Father’s statement actually could be translated, “Continue always to listen to Him!” According to 2 Peter 1:16–21, who provided an eyewitness account of this event, and how can we continue to listen to Jesus?
The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 2:1-14
- God worked through the horses, the chariots of fire, and the whirlwind that carried Elijah to heaven to reassure and bless Elisha so he could boldly serve as God’s prophet. God works through the Means of Grace—Word and Sacrament—to strengthen our faith and bless us in our service to Him as we serve our neighbor.
- Law: Like Elisha, I am sinful and doubt my abilities to serve where God calls me.
- Gospel: God works through the Means of Grace—Word and Sacrament—to forgive my doubt and reveal that He is with me and to grant me the ability to serve wherever He calls me.
- What do we call a man today with a special calling to preach God’s Word and administer Sacraments?
- Why was God about to take Elijah up to heaven?
- Why did Elisha not want to leave Elijah?
- Of what does the parting of the water in 2 Kings 2:8 remind you?
- What did Elisha want from Elijah?
- Why did Elisha tear his clothes?
- Was Elisha’s prayer answered?
- How did God use the whirlwind (the natural element) to help Elisha know God’s plan of salvation?
- Of whom does Elijah’s ascent into heaven remind you?
- What does that mean for us?
- Why is this story of Elijah’s miraculous departure from earth in the Bible for us to read today?
The text for this lesson is 1 Kings 18
- God had hidden Elijah for three years, but now God commanded him to appear before Ahab. Why?
- Why was Obadiah afraid to take Elijah to Ahab?
- What did Ahab call Elijah? Why?
- What did Elijah tell Ahab to do?
- Were the prophets of Baal up to the challenge?
- What was Elijah’s prayer?
- Did he pray for fire?
- Which commandment did God’s people break in the story?
- Who or what might be a Baal for people today?
- What is idolatry?
- When do we commit idolatry?
- What does it mean to fear, love, and trust God?
The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 2:1–15.
- Enoch and Elijah were taken into heaven alive. Jesus, who is our Enoch and our great Elijah, ascended alive into heaven for us and our salvation.
- Law: Death overtakes me because I am permeated by sin and am subject to its penalty.
- Gospel: In the death of Jesus is the death of death itself, and I will be raised up with Christ and seated with Him in heaven.
It’s time for the baton—or rather the mantle—of Elijah to pass to his vicar, Elisha. Cleaving to his master’s side, Elisha follows him on a somewhat circuitous route that ends east of the Jordan. In this same region centuries before, the baton had been passed from Moses to Joshua. Now it would go from Elijah to Elisha—same song, second verse. It is here, too, that the latter-day Elijah, that is, John the Baptist, would bow out so that the Elisha-like Jesus could move forward with His ministry— same song, final verse.
The text for this lesson is 1 Kings 18:20–46.
- Just as the true God revealed Himself on Mount Carmel’s altar, so on the cross-shaped altar of Mount Calvary, Jesus revealed once and for all that He alone is the real God who loves us enough to die for us.
- God demands that I fear, love, and trust in Him alone, yet I sinfully place my trust elsewhere.
- Jesus proved that He is the true Lord when on the altar of God He offered the sacrifice, Himself, that calls me back from my sin to His forgiving embrace.
For three years, the skies above Israel had been sealed shut; not a raindrop fell on the parched land. This was God’s way of getting His nation’s attention, of throwing a bucket of cold water in His Bride’s sleeping face, so to speak, as she lay sprawled in bed with the false god Baal. Coming out of seclusion, Elijah commanded wicked King Ahab to “gather all Israel to [him] at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table” (1 Kings 18:19). It was time for what the Greeks called a theomachy, a God-fight.
The text for this lesson is 1 Kings 17.
- Just as God provided food and life for Elijah, the widow, and her son, so He provides food, forgiveness, and life eternal for us in Christ.
- Law: In sin, I complain that God does not give me what I need or deserve.
- Gospel: God daily supplies me with those good gifts that sustain me in body and soul, giving each of them through His Son.
In Elijah’s day (ninth century BC), Israel was divided into the Northern and Southern kingdoms. Each had its own king, military, and worship sites. Elijah preached in the north (usually called Israel, while the south was Judah). Here, each king seemed bent on outsinning his predecessor, beginning with the first, Jeroboam. The leader during Elijah’s ministry, Ahab, was quite successful at this contest of iniquity, for he “did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him” (1 Kings 16:30). For instance, he chose as his queen Jezebel, from Sidon, who was a zealous devotee of the false god Baal. With her encouragement, Ahab built an altar and temple for this pseudo-deity in the capital city of Samaria. He also made an Asherah, an image of a popular goddess of the time. In short, Ahab won hell’s applause.
The text for this lesson is Mark 9:2–10.
- The transfiguration of God’s Son, Jesus, exemplifies the transformation that God gives us. Through uniting us in Baptism with His death and resurrection, Jesus purified and transformed us from sin-filled children of Adam to Christ-filled children of God.
- Law: Though Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, when sin corrupted him, he “fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image” (Genesis 5:3, emphasis added). Sin-filled Adam sired a sin-filled son. And if we ask, “Mirror, mirror of the Law, who’s affected by this flaw?” it will point its reflective finger at us, to all the sin-filled sons and daughters of Adam. As we sing, “In Adam we have all been one, One huge rebellious man; We all have fled that evening voice That sought us as we ran” (LSB 569:1).
- Gospel: The Son of God became a man to make us sons of God. He restored us to the image and likeness of God. No, yet more! He restores and improves that image and likeness. His transfigured flesh, radiating the brilliance of divinity, links us bodily with God Himself as we are baptized into Him, purified, and transformed from the sin-filled children of Adam to the Christ-filled children of God.