Archive for the ‘The Twelve’ tag
The text for this lesson is Matthew 14:22–33.
- Jesus was gracious to Peter when he feared drowning. Jesus is gracious to us and is ready to catch us as we sink in sin and unbelief; His hand is always strong to save us.
The text for this lesson is Mark 4:35–41.
- Just as Jesus calmed the storm with His Word for the frightened disciples, so He calms and ends the storm of sin and its certain death by taking our sin on Himself and dying in our place so we may live eternally.
- Law: “God doesn’t care about us, our fears, our sufferings, our anything.” That’s what we think, all too often, when the storms of life hit. We feel God is giving us the cold shoulder, or, worse by far, wonder if He even exists. Fear suffocates faith, leading ultimately to despair and hopelessness.
- Gospel: God does care. In the vast cosmos, nothing is as much the object of His love as you. Though, when walking through this valley of sorrow (or being tossed about in a ferocious sea), it seems the Lord is heartless, He is anything but. He is with you. At the right time, He will provide peace through His Word, bring you out of the valley and storm, and calm your trembling heart.
The text for this lesson is Mark 2:13–17.
- We sinners rejoice, for we too have been called from our own sin to dine at the table of the friend of sinners: Jesus.
- Law: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). But also, if we say we have no sin as bad as so-and-so’s, we dupe ourselves just as much. The root of hypocrisy is self-deception. We think we are much higher up on God’s “honor roll” than our peers. Such lies, which dam up the flow of repentance and forgiveness, leaves the sinner damned. Jesus is the friend of sinners. He lives with them, eats with them, dies with them. Self-made saints have no friend in Jesus, for they despise His compassion as well as His companions.
- Gospel: If we confess our sins, if we say “I am a sinner,” Jesus will say, “I am your friend. Fear not. I am faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness” (see 1 John 1:9).
The text for this lesson is John 1:43–51.
- In Jesus, access to heaven is given to all who believe.
- Law: You get the god you believe in. If you believe “God” to be a mean-spirited, unforgiving, damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t deity, then your belief in that false god attaches you to him. Again, if you believe “God” to be an everybody-gets-to-heaven, anything goes, laid-back Lord, then your belief in that false god attaches you to him. Remember, you get the “God” you believe in. But if the deity in whom you believe is false, then, alas, he is nothing more than one of the devil’s myriad disguises. And what you get is hell.
- Gospel: Jesus is who Jesus is. He is not whomever we twist, wrench, or otherwise manipulate Him into being. He defies our expectations, knowing all, loving all, dying for all. Something good did come down from Nazareth. That good is the Savior, who is the true Jacob’s ladder, for upon Him the angels come down to escort us upward to our heavenly home.