April 18th 11:00AM
Sunday Bulletin (Click on PDF)
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UNTIL WE’RE ABLE TO MEET AT CHURCH AGAIN, THE GOSPEL READING FOR THE COMING SUNDAY AND SOME QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT WILL BE POSTED EVERY WEDNESDAY. WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOUR OWN ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS. PLEASE EMAIL THEM TO:
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BIBLE STUDY FOR SUNDAY, April 18, 2021
PRAYER: Holy Father, by the power of your Holy Spirit, prepare our hearts and minds to receive all that You want us to learn. As we read your word, shine on us the light of your truth. May we gain a deeper understanding of who You are and what your will is in each of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
CONTEXT: As with most of the Sundays after Easter, today’s reading from Luke describes yet another meeting of the resurrected Jesus with his disciples. Right before this reading starts, Luke tells about another well-known encounter, between two of the disciples and Jesus on the road to Emmaus. Those two disciples have run back to the upper room and excitedly told the others there that they had seen Jesus. At that moment, Jesus appears again, joining them in the room, and this reading begins.
READING: Luke 24:36b-48
36b Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence. 44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:
1. Why do you think Jesus encourages the disciples to touch him, and then asks for something to eat? What is He showing the disciples and us, and why is it so important? How does this further define what resurrection is? Does it tell you anything about what ours will be like?
Still putting others’ needs first.
Comfort others first, our needs will/ have already been satisfied.
Old natural habits of survival die.
We should already recognize that old wineskins will not hold new wine.
Jesus wanted the disciples to see that, despite the pagan superstitions of that day, He was not a ghost, but had a physical body with flesh and bones. Although he had been subjected to torture and death, God’s power had brought Him back and his very body, now in glorified form, had been raised from the grave. That distinction is important so that it is understood that the resurrection focuses on new life, in which the physical lives again. After our resurrection, we too will have glorified bodies, without decay or imperfection.
2. What do you think Jesus is emphasizing in verse 44? Why is it helpful to be familiar with these Old Testament scriptures? How can they enrich our understanding of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection?
We must understand the old before we can accept the new.
To accurately spread the truth of the Gospel.
Gives us a look into the customs and values of a civilization and how corrupted they were.
He is reminding the disciples that He is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Throughout the scriptures, Jesus life, death and resurrection are predicted. This proves that it was God’s plan from the very beginning. Being familiar with these scriptures puts Jesus into context. Without them, we only know half the story. Knowing the whole story, from the beginning of creation, makes us more knowledgeable, and therefore more effective witnesses.
3. How does Jesus do for us what He did for the disciples in verse 45? Have you experienced that type of enlightenment? If so, describe what it was like. If not, what can you do to obtain it?
Forces us to choose a path guided by the Holy Spirit.
Many times daily.
Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit to help us to understand scripture. I have experienced reading the scriptures both with and without the Holy Spirit’s help. If I take time before I read scripture to ask for the Holy Spirit to fill me, I always understand the words more easily and with more meaning. I can better relate what the scripture is saying to my current circumstances and needs.
4. What do you think it was about these encounters with the risen Christ that empowered the disciples for the difficult work ahead in spreading the word and founding the early church? How might we take advantage of those same benefits?
That Jesus how badly he was/ is treated would still come back to teach against the status quo in order to expand the work of God.
Stay true to the goodness of God and His creation.
Encountering Jesus gave them His strength and courage. It reminded them of His love and acceptance. I think that Jesus’ energy was contagious; it motivated them and encouraged them. He reminded them of all that He had taught them, which gave them the proper framework for their ministry. I think we too can take advantage of those benefits by spending time with Jesus throughout our day, asking Him for strength, courage, and guidance.
5. There are many important truths in verses 46-48. What things stand out for you? How can they make you a better witness?
Suffering always gives rise to a new creation. Repentance allows forgiveness to root.
The reward for suffering leads to the ability to repent.
God’s plan for the redemption of man, through the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, was God’s plan from the beginning, and was written about in the earliest of scriptures. Those who repent of their sin will be forgiven and will have new life both now, and eternally, through belief in the Messiah. And that the saved are to share that good news by witnessing to everyone on earth (all nations).
6. We might be tempted to think of the resurrection as an ending in our Easter story. How is it not an ending, but a beginning? How can we all live a resurrected life, right here and right now? What does that kind of life look like?
We look back now through eyes that were once blind but now can see.
Remembering that we too were once the lost sheep that someone left the other 99 to go find because of our value to the shepherd's oath to return all of those in His care.
A life of joy, empathy, and compassion given to us through the redemptive work of a God who loves us and will never turn His back on us even though we still wander away from the flock because of the confidence He has in the power of love emanating from within Himself and reflecting off of those who gave themselves to His purpose.
Jesus’ resurrection was the end of the old and the beginning of the new. It made it possible for us to live new lives, free from the power of sin and death. It was a new beginning for all who would follow Jesus with believing hearts and willing souls. Death was defeated and new life was victorious. By turning our lives around, Jesus gives us resurrected life right here and now. That life is free, full of hope, visible by the love we share and the joy we experience. It is a life that believes the impossible, does the right thing, and person by person, changes the world. That kind of life looks like Jesus.
7. Jesus last words in this reading are for all of us: “You are witnesses of these things.” What is Jesus calling us to do? What, exactly, have you witnessed, and what specific steps will you take in the coming weeks to contribute to this call?
Answer when asked about how by what means changed our lives.
B. Giving of one's self for the good of the whole does bring fruit to bear. Open my heart to let the God of creation who resides there to have His way with me. Use my new eyes to see reasons for things that exist which couldn't have seen before because of scales placed there by my once hardened heart. Listen intently for the calls of help with the ears now that can hear the voice of one calling in the desert.
Jesus is calling all of us to tell everyone of his saving love. I have witnessed the result of His love in my life: how it has changed me, taken me from darkness to light, freed me from sin and death, given me a purpose and a calling. It has completely turned me in another direction. I have a peace and a joy that I never had before. In the coming weeks, I will be open to every opportunity God gives me to share my story with others. I will do my best to accentuate the difference Jesus has made in me, by walking in his light, so that others will want to be there too.
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