Archive for the ‘miracles’ tag
- In His love, God promises to care for all our physical and spiritual needs and gives us the greatest treasure: His Son and the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation.
- Law: Like the disciples, my faith is weak, and I lack trust in God to give me all good things.
- Gospel: For the sake of His Son, Jesus, God promises to provide for all my needs according to His will and riches and gives me the gift of faith to believe in Jesus as my Savior and receive eternal life through Him.
- What does John 6 teach us about the difference between seeing miraculous signs and believing Jesus’ words? What can the Church learn from this?
- John 6:3 says Jesus “went up on the mountain.” In Matthew 5–7, Jesus also went up on a mountain to teach. What Old Testament figure was frequently found on a mountain? (See Exodus 19:3–4.) What might this bit of information tell us about how John and Matthew portray Jesus?
- Read John 6:48–58. How does the preceding discussion concerning the Passover and the manna in the wilderness provide insight into the meaning of this passage?
- Philip, Andrew, and Moses had much in common when it came to dealing with large-scale hunger problems. What had all three of them failed to see? What do we have in common with Philip, Andrew, and Moses when it comes to dealing with our problems?
- We read in John 6:4 that the Passover was near, which means that the feeding of the five thousand occurred in the springtime. This is supported by John 6:10, “There was much grass in the place.” Mark 6:39 says that the grass was green. Jesus had the crowd sit down in green fields before He fed them “as much as they wanted” (John 6:11). To what might this scene be an allusion?
- Compare John 6:11 and Luke 22:19. What might the similarity of these verses teach the Church about the feeding of the five thousand?
- After seeing Jesus perform the miraculous sign, the people said that Christ was the prophet who had come into the world. Read Deuteronomy 18:15–19. Who would this prophet be like? According to John 1:17, what would be the greatest difference between Jesus the Prophet and the one who came before Him?
- Like those who had “eaten their fill,” how are we also tempted to seek the Lord only for the earthly things He can give us, rather than focusing on the eternal food, the bread of life, which is Christ Himself?
The text for this lesson is Luke 4:31-44
- Through many miracles, Jesus shows us His power over sin and the devil.
- Law: Because of sin, Satan has power and holds the world in bondage. Because of sin there is sickness in the world. I am lost in sin and death. God wants me and all others to know and believe in His Son.
- Gospel: Jesus is the Holy One of God who defeats Satan and frees me from his hold, granting me eternal life in paradise. Jesus has power over sin and sickness. Jesus was sent to preach and, through His own suffering and death, to save the lost. He speaks through His Word, and, in faith, grants me the opportunities to tell others this Good News about Jesus.
1. In Luke 4:34, the unclean demon cried out to Jesus, “I know who You are—the Holy One of God.” Why does this demon cry out when he encounters Jesus? According to James 2:19, what does the knowledge of God cause demons to do? What do the demons in Luke 4:34 and 4:41 tell the reader of Luke’s Gospel about Jesus?
2. We see in Luke 4:35 and 4:41 that Jesus will not let the demons speak, “because they knew that He was the Christ.” Apparently, Jesus did not want to be revealed as the Christ from the lips of demons. What possible reasons would Jesus have not to be revealed to the world at that time as the Christ? Read Luke 9:18–22. To whom is Jesus revealed as the Christ here? What does Jesus tell them not to do? What event does Jesus predict but appears not yet ready to undergo? Read John 11:47–48 and Matthew 2:1–4. What do these passages reveal as possible reasons for Jesus to keep a low profile?
3. In Luke 4:43, Jesus says that He was sent to “preach the good news [Gospel] of the kingdom of God.” The kingdom of God is an important theme in Luke’s Gospel. As Jesus preaches and performs miracles, He is showing that the kingdom of God has arrived. God is bringing about a new creation in Christ Jesus, giving new life to sinners. It is a kingdom of grace, a kingdom of the Gospel. In short, the kingdom of God is found wherever Jesus is King. Read Luke 10:8–12. When Jesus sent out His seventy-two messengers, what signs would accompany their message that the kingdom of God had come? What happens when people rejected that message? Read Luke 18:15–17. How must the kingdom of God be received?
4. Jesus revealed the breaking in of the kingdom of God by showing His great authority. In Luke 4:32, the people were astounded that His Word possessed such authority. He spoke as if He were God Himself, because He is! Then in Luke 4:36, the people were amazed at the authority He exercised over demons. Read Luke 5:17–26. What other authority did Jesus have and why was that so offensive to the scribes and Pharisees? According to John 20:19–23, what authority does Jesus give to the apostles, which is also given to those in the Office of the Holy Ministry?
5. According to Luke 4:36–37, Jesus’ authoritative preaching and miracles amazed the people, and “reports about Him went out into every place in the surrounding region.” But Jesus had not yet revealed Himself as the Christ. What kind of faith, if any, could have been present among the people who witnessed these miracles? What warning does Jesus give us about faith healers and miracle workers (Mark 13:21–22)? In contrast, according to Luke 5:24, what is one reason that Jesus did miracles? Would modern faith healers and miracle workers have the same agenda as Jesus did? In what way can Jesus’ healing ministry be continued in the Church today?
6. In Luke 4:38–39, Jesus healed Simon’s (Peter’s) mother-in-law of a high fever. After Jesus rebuked the fever and it left her, “immediately she rose and began to serve them.” How does Peter’s mother-in-law provide a wonderful example for Christian faith and life? How is this same attitude reflected in the Collect of Thanksgiving that is traditionally used after Holy Communion (LW p. 174)?
7. What is one reason so many people reject the Gospel? Why is it that many people do not go to church or go to churches that focus on things other than the Gospel? See 2 Corinthians 4:4 and Luke 8:12. What is the ultimate source of unbelief? Of what must Christians also be constantly aware?
8. According to Luke 4:40, Jesus would lay His hands on people who were sick and heal them. Jesus comes to us with His true body and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar, forgiving our sins and giving us life and salvation. Martin Luther says of the Sacrament of the Altar in the Large Catechism, “We must never think of the Sacrament as something harmful from which we had better flee, but as a pure, wholesome, comforting remedy that grants salvation and comfort. It will cure you and give you life both in soul and body. For where the soul has recovered, the body also is relieved” (Large Catechism, Part 5, paragraph 68). According to Luther, what besides the soul can be helped by the Sacrament? How should we be careful in our understanding of this teaching? How does this teaching point to the final resurrection of our bodies?