Sunday, March 31, 2013

n 4-07-13, Luke 24:36-53 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as The Lord Appears

The Lord Appears  
Luke 24:36-53
International Sunday School Lesson
April 7, 2013

Jed Greenough

God empowers us.  All authority comes from Him.  We can try and force our way on events but when it comes to His matters, only those things that are a part of His plan will receive His blessing.
Not everyone who teaches and preaches is called to do so.  This is one of those things that I love to point out because the scriptures are very clear on who is called.  Those that force their will on these positions do not have His blessing because they are following their will not His.
Today’s scripture shows very dramatically the lengths God will go to call those He wants.  Those that are scared, as these men were (John 20:19) or confused or unknowing or who fight the calling can be in for some drama!
God knew that these men needed to be shook right down to their core and get them on their feet both literally and figuratively to start the spread of the gospel.
They had already heard according to Mary that Jesus was alive but here they were locked up behind closed doors out of fear.  They were being told by the two men from last week’s scripture about their encounter with Jesus but I suspect that wouldn’t have accomplished anything either.
So “while they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them.” 
You can imagine more from your own mind how they reacted than from just reading the few words we are given.  From this encounter the Disciples of Christ went from cowering in private to constantly telling the story in the public venue of the temple.
But even the called are in for a major task when it comes to sharing the gospel story.  Remember how Thomas reacted to their account (John 20:24-28) so how effective can the uncalled truly be expected to be?
Jesus said the following to Thomas in the very next verse of John, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Belief, in the true sense of the original Greek language, is a living, active vibrant faith.  And while only God knows what is in another man’s heart I think it is fair in the general sense to question belief.
Let’s put the called out there that have a difficult task to do despite their calling.  Let’s take steps to be honest about those who are not called.  Both will result, I am confident, in the true growth in numbers of true faithful believers.

For Discussion
1.    Read the other accounts of this encounter found in the synoptic Gospels.
2.    Discuss how you would have reacted to this fantastic encounter had you been present.
3.    Discuss Jesus asking if they had anything to eat.
4.    Discuss how they still needed understanding of how the Scriptures pointed all along to these events.
5.    Read Mark 16:14.
6.    Discuss whether the Scriptures can be truly understood without the assistance of God.
7.    Do you believe you know someone that is being called but they have resisted?  Discuss how you might help them to answer the call.

4-14-13:   The Lord Sends the Spirit aka The Holy Spirit Comes Acts 2:1-16 or Acts 2:1-13
4-21-13:   The Lord Will Return aka Living with Hope 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
4-28-13:   The Lord Will Triumph aka Hope Comes from God’s Grace 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, 8-17 or 2:1-3, 9-17
5-5-13:     Living Hope 1 Peter 1:3-16 or 1:3-12

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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