Saturday, February 22, 2014

The resurrected Jesus

This is the lesson from 2014-02-16. I am scheduling it in advance, so I can’t talk about what we did or did not get to, or even whether we got to the lesson. Sometimes prayer needs outweigh the need for me to talk. This is not “big church,” so the priorities are different, and that’s okay.

Peter & John at the tomb

  • READ 20:1–2
  • READ 20:3–5
  • READ 20:6–9

  • SAY Jesus had been teaching his disciples that he would be killed and resurrected. (e.g., Matt 16:21, Mark 8:31). Peter even rebuked the creator of the universe for talking like that. Even though Jesus had been telling them, they didn’t yet understand that it had been prophesied over and over in the Old Testament.

Mary Magdalene at the tomb

  • READ 20:10–11
    • ASK What was Mary Magdalene feeling? (open discussion)
    • ASK Have you ever felt that?
  • READ 20:12–15
  • READ 20:15–18
    • ASK What is Mary feeling now? (open discussion)

Jesus appears to most of the disciples

  • READ 20:19–23
    • SAY When Jesus breathed on them, he was using an object lesson about the Holy Spirit:
      • Breath and spirit are the same word in Greek.
      • Jesus had already told them the Holy Spirit was coming.

Jesus and Thomas

  • READ 20:24–25
  • READ 20:26–29
  • READ 20:30–31

SAY There has been a lot of malarky that followed from reading verse 29 by itself. It is used to support name-it, claim-it teaching; it has been used to support blind faith in various sorts of preachers. But look at what follows in verses 30–31: “[T]hese things are written so that you may believe …”

Back in 17:20, when Jesus was praying, he said, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word …” John’s gospel is the word of an eyewitness, and it is on this basis we believe.

John emphasizes this point in 1 John: READ 1 John 1:1–3. John is telling us that this is from those who have seen Jesus and can be believed.

One more thing

In 20:17, Jesus tells Mary, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father …”

But since then, he has asscended to the Father. Now is the time to cling to him.

When it seems he has abandoned you,

  • cancer
  • divorce
  • pregnant daughter
  • more cancer
  • bullied daughter

that is when you should cling to Jesus. But not to the fantasy Jesus of what you would make up, and not to the false Jesus of some of those people on TV. The real Jesus, the one revealed in the Bible.

  • Don’t put on a brave face and pretend to be okay.
  • Do get to know your Savior in his word, so that when you hit a hard time, you know what you are holding on to.
    • One way to do this: The Gospel of John has 21 chapters. Read 3 chapters each day — that’s one week. Do this every week for a month.
    • The next month, go do the same with Matthew: 28 chapters, 4 each day.
    • Then Mark: 16 chapters, 2 or 3 each day.
    • Then Luke: 24 chapters, 3 or 4 each day.
    • Then the rest of the New Testament in appropriate-sized chunks.
    • Then go to the Old Testament, and see how Jesus is revealed there.
  • This is how you learn who you are clinging to.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jesus crucified

This is the lesson from 2014-02-09. Time was short because of a church function, so I only got 10 minutes to teach. We concentrated on fulfillment of prophecy and the finality of Jesus’s work on the cross.

Pilate’s poke at the Jews

  • READ 19:17–22
  • Opinion question: Why did Pilate write “The King Of The Jews”? (Because the leaders of the Jews had said “We have no king but C{}sar,” and he was taking them at their word.

Soldiers gamble for Jesus’s clothes

  • READ 19:23–24
  • All the way through the rest of this chapter, John wants to make sure to connect the crucifixion to prophecies.
  • READ Psalm 22:18

Jesus sees that his mother is cared for

  • READ 19:25–27
  • John was the one who cared for her.
  • Why not Jesus’s brothers? We don’t know.

Jesus dies

  • READ 19:28–29
  • Jesus is thirsty, dehydrated, so the thing they give him to drink fulfills prophecy.
  • READ Psalm 69:21
  • READ 19:30
  • It is finished. ASK What was finished? (All the wrath of God for sin.)
  • This is how we were saved. Remember the song we sing sometimes: “Till on the cross where Jesus died the wrath of God was satisfied.”
    • READ Romans 6:10
    • READ Hebrews 7:27
    • READ Hebrews 9:12
    • READ Hebrews 10:10

When Jesus said finished, he meant finished.

  • READ 19:31–37
  • Prophecy fulfillment keeps rolling in even after Jesus dies.
  • READ Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12 about the passover lamb.
    • We know it was about Jesus because of 1 Corinthians 5:7

Jesus is buried

  • READ 19:38–42
  • ASK Jesus was crucified between 2 thieves. Normally when a criminal was crucified, his body was thrown on the burning trash heap. But what happened to Jesus’s body? (Buried in a rich man’s tomb.)
  • This fulfilled even more prophecy. READ Isaiah 53:9.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Crown him the Lord of love. Behold his hands and side! Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified. All hail, Redeemer, hail! For thou hast died for me. Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Betrayal & arrest, trial, denial

This is the lesson from 2014-01-26. It has been so long that I don’t remember how closely I was able to follow this outline.

Betrayal & arrest

  • Read 18:1–3
  • Read 18:4–8
    • Weirdness — at least it seems weird to me — v. 4: “knowing all that would happen to him.”
      • READ John 10:18
  • Read 18:9–11
      1. 9: “to fulfill the word he had spoken” in 17:12.
      1. 11: “shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” — a reference to the “other” prayer as recorded in Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42.
    • SAY The Gospels don’t give identical accounts. ASK Is this a weakness? (No! It’s a strength: It’s like eyewitness accounts of anything: Everyone’s perspective is different, and the different accounts combine into a complete picture.
  • Read 18:12-14
    • SAY Annas used to be the high priest, but the Romans wouldn’t allow him to continue in office, probably to prevent him from accumulating power.
    • One way or another, Annas’s son-in-law, Caiaphas, had become the high priest, but the real power among the Saducees remained with Annas, so Annas gets the first crack at Jesus.


  • Read 18:15–16
    • The “other disciple” may have been John, may have been someone else.
      • John usually refers to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved.”
      • A fisherman from Galilee might be known to the high priest.
      • Doesn’t matter.
  • Read 18:17–18
  • Read 18:25–27
    • Earlier the same night, Peter had said, “I will lay down my life for you” (13:37)
    • We read above that he whacked off the servant’s ear. (18:10)
    • Now he’s denying that he even knows Jesus.
      • SAY Don’t be too hard on Peter: It’s easy to be like him. Acknowledging Jesus and proclaiming yourself to be on his side when it’s safe. But it’s something altogether different when there’s real opposition.
      • ASK How can we be stronger so that when push comes eventually to shove, we don’t deny Jesus, but stand up and are counted for him?
        • Knowing the Bible
        • Prayer
        • Worship
        • Fellowship


  • Read 18:19–21
  • Read 18:22–24
  • People who study this stuff say that there was a certain order to the way the trial should have been handled, but Jesus knew they weren’t following the order, and when he said to call witnesses, he was trying to get them to follow their own procedures.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The wrong reaction

In Mark 4, when there's a storm on the lake, the disciples are afraid. But when Jesus calms the storm, they are terrified.


In Mark 5, when the demon-possessed man is healed, the people ask Jesus to go away.


Why does everyone have the “wrong” reaction to Jesus?

Why aren't they glad when he does Good Things?

My guess: People want a tame God. When Jesus demonstrated that God was really there in the flesh, they didn't want anything to do with him.