Archive for the ‘suffering’ tag
The text for this lesson is Genesis 13-14
- God used Abram (Abraham) to rescue Lot from his enemies. God used His own Son, Jesus, to rescue us from our enemies—sin, death, and the devil.
- Law: I am overcome by sin and the temptations of the devil; I am doomed to death because of my sinfulness.
- Gospel: God’s Son, Jesus, is my rescuer from these powerful enemies, granting me new life with Him in heaven.
- Law: Because of sin, I have enemies in my life.
- Gospel: God in Christ rescues me from my worst enemies—sin, death, and the devil.
- Read 1 Peter 1:6–7; John 9:1–3. What are two reasons why Christians like Lot suffer?
- Read Genesis 14:12. Which “way” were the kings who captured Lot going? Read Genesis 14:13. Abram was the first to be called a Hebrew. In the Hebrew language, Hebrew describes one who “crosses over” a river. While the kings of this world were going their own ways, Abram was crossing over into the Promised Land to live as a sojourner. Upon whose “way” was Abram treading by faith? Read Psalm 119:9. What defines God’s way?
- In the midst of much bloodshed, God rescued Lot. He brought forth Abram to defeat the enemy despite a lack of numbers. Abram had just 318 fighting men. Yet, Abram believed God. He had no land with which to supply his soldiers food and shelter. Yet, Abram believed God. What does it say about the faith God gave to Abram? Read Exodus 14:25; Joshua 10:11. When the faithful go to war, who does the fighting?
- Compare the blessing Melchizedek gave to Abram with the blessing God gave to Abram in Genesis 12. In Genesis 12, Abram was blessed directly, but who was really being blessed by Melchizedek? See Matthew 7:11. What does this imply about the true source of blessing?
- How does the Lord rescue those of His who are in captivity? How does this “rescuing” reach its pinnacle in Jesus’ mission on earth? Read Luke 4:18–21. What does it mean for Jesus to “set at liberty those who are oppressed”?
- Abram defeated the kings’ armies with adept strategy and fortitude. After defeating the kings in battle, how did Abram react? Abram had no place to call his own, and yet he did not seize any of the land that God had already promised would be his! Read Hebrews 11:10. What did Abram’s refusal of the physical land of Canaan imply about the location of God’s Promised Land? Read 1 Peter 5:6–7. How was Abram’s trust in God’s promise made manifest in his humble reaction toward his unbridled victory? What place does humility play in the life of the Christian, who is saved solely by God’s grace through faith?
- God graciously saved Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of one righteous man, Lot. Read Genesis 14:17. The king of Sodom came out to greet Abram. How did Abram’s rescuing of Lot serve Sodom? Skim Genesis 19. What did it mean for the king of Sodom to receive God’s salvation only to reject the Word preached by Melchizedek? With the exception of Lot and his family, was there anyone left in Sodom and Gomorrah who had not heard the Word and rejected it? How does Genesis 15 affect the way you view God’s long-suffering toward Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19?
- Read Hebrews 7:1–3. In what ways did Melchizedek foreshadow Christ?
- As priest of God Most High, Melchizedek blessed Abram with bread and wine. In what way does Christ bless us with bread and wine today? Read Hebrews 9:13–14; 10:12–14. Christ offered His sacrifice once for all. How is this once-for-all sacrifice tied to the forgiveness of sins that we receive in the Lord’s Supper?
- Lot was by no means the only one to live in bondage to his enemies. John declares that “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34). John also tells us that “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). All of us live in servitude to sin, but sin is not our only enemy. This fallen world and the devil work in unison to snatch us from our land of promise into captivity. Compare our situations to Lot’s. Was Lot capable of freeing himself, or did his salvation come from outside himself?
- In his rescuing of Lot, Abram foreshadowed our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ entered the battle and defeated the devil, this world, and even our sinful flesh for us. Read Hebrews 2:14–16. How does Christ’s crucifixion and death relate to the victory He has won over the devil?
- Read Hebrews 7:23–8:1. The Old Testament had many priests—Melchizedek, Aaron, and his sons to name a few. In our post-resurrection era, Christ Jesus Himself is our High Priest. He offered Himself as the sole sacrifice for our sins by His suffering and death. By this offering, He has redeemed us in all sufficiency. While we have one High Priest, the Church has millions in the priesthood. Read 1 Peter 2:4–5, 9–10. If our Lord has offered up the one sacrifice needed for sins, what kind of sacrifices do we offer?
The text for this lesson is Luke 22:1–23
1. What parts of the liturgy are closely connected with Palm Sunday and the Passion Narrative?
2. Today we study part of Jesus’ Passion Narrative. How is the term passion normally used today? What does it mean in the sense of the Passion of Jesus? How are these various definitions related? To what does the passive obedience of Jesus refer?
3. Keeping in mind the Passover theme, what do John 1:29; Isaiah 53:7; Revelation 5:12; and 1 Corinthians 5:7 teach us about Jesus and the Passover?
4. Read Exodus 12:12–13. How did the blood of the Passover lamb save the Israelites? What important event occurred after the Passover? Where would God later lead Israel? In what ways does Jesus’ work for us follow the pattern of the events in Exodus?
5. Jesus sent His disciples to prepare the Passover feast (Luke 22:8–13). Since it was a festival, they reclined at the table (v. 14). The Passover meal involved both eating and teaching. Jesus taught them about how eager He was to eat this feast with them before He would suffer (v. 15), which brought to mind the numerous predictions He had made about His suffering and death. He taught them that He would not eat and drink again until the Passover meal was fulfilled in the kingdom of God (vv. 16–18). The fulfillment would be brought about through His death and resurrection, and afterwards He would eat and drink with them again to show them that the Kingdom had come (24:30, 41–43). But to this point in the meal, Jesus had followed the basic format of the Passover meal, and nothing too out of the ordinary had occurred. Then, with Jesus’ words in 22:19–20, the disciples heard a teaching that had never been given before. What teaching would have surprised the disciples? What now replaces the Passover meal?
6. What words in Luke 22:19–20 suggest that Jesus’ death will be a sacrifice? What similar language is used in Isaiah 53:12; Galatians 1:3–5; and 1 Timothy 2:5–6? What does Matthew 26:28 say specifically about Jesus’ blood? In what way do we participate in Jesus’ sacrificial death?
7. Question 5 discussed how “This is my body . . . this is my blood” would have surprised the disciples at the Passover meal. Yet the most shocking thing for them probably would have been Jesus’ instruction for them to drink blood. According to Leviticus 17:10–14, why was the consumption of blood prohibited under the old covenant? Why is the teaching of Leviticus about blood so helpful in understanding the value of the Lord’s Supper for us? See John 6:53–56 for further insight.
8. Where do we find the theme of Jesus as our Passover Lamb in the liturgy? In light of Revelation 19:9 and Isaiah 25:6–8, why is the Lord’s Supper sometimes called a foretaste of the feast to come?
9. When Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me,” He was directing His disciples to repeat the Lord’s Supper “until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). This phrase also could be translated “Do this for my remembrance,” in other words, so that Jesus would remember the promises He made at the Last Supper. It may seem silly—or even sacrilegious—to speak of reminding God, but this was common language in the Old Testament. Read Genesis 9:14–16 and Exodus 2:23–25. What things caused God to remember His promises? How would this concept fit with the Lord’s Supper?
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?