Knowing Jesus 10

The Aim of the devotional study is to grow in understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture

Revelation 19:11-21

11  Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12  His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.

13  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.  14  And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.  15  From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

16  On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

17  Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18  to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”

19  And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20  And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21  And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

Observations

  1. List the names and titles attributed to Jesus in this passage of Scripture.
  2. What do you understand under the title “King of kings, Lord of Lords”? Rephrase this title of Jesus in your own, contemporary words.
  3. In this section we see Jesus as the Commander of heavens’ Armies. List the characteristics and actions of Jesus as Commander of Armies of Heaven.
  4. What do you understand with the imagery of Jesus slaying the enemies of God with the sharp sword from his mouth? Can you guess what future event does this hint to, and what is Jesus’ role in this event?

Application

  1. How do you feel about Jesus warring against and judging the enemies of God? How does that influence your view of him?

Prayer

Spend some time in prayer, reflecting on what you have read in Scripture over the past two weeks as we have grown in the knowledge of Jesus

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Knowing Jesus 9

BS1 Knowing Jesus 9

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in our revelation of Jesus Christ and respond appropriately.

Look at this short interview of U2 singer Bono to learn from his faith in Jesus Christ:

Scripture

Revelation 1:1-18

1  The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2  who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.

4  John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5  and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6  and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7  Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty… 17 Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18  and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

Observations

The Apostle John were banished to the island of Patmos (v9) by Emperor Domitian about 95 AD where he had The Revelation of Jesus Christ, but returned to his church in Ephesus after this Emperor was removed from his office and all his edicts reversed.  Many times we feel intimidated by the figurative speech in this book but today let’s focus on the intent of the writing: to grow in understanding of Jesus Christ and his majestic reign.

  1. Write down the names / titles attributed to Jesus in these opening verses of Revelation. (look in v1, 5, 8, 17, 18). Shortly record next to each how you know more of Jesus because of each of these names/ titles.
  2. What does John remind his readers of what Jesus did for them? (v5, 6, 18)
  3. What does John write about Jesus’ future actions? (v6, 7, 8, 18)

Application

  1. John was given this Revelation to share with the church severely persecuted by the Roman authorities in his day. Why would even this introduction about the person and ministry of Jesus Christ be very encouraging to the first readers?
  2. Who do you know can be encouraged by this truth today?  Send them a short message of encouragement now.
  3. Reading the phrase he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him” (v7) – do you feel excited about that? Why?  Why not?

Prayer

Spend time worshiping Jesus with the names/ titles attributed to him in this introduction.  Then pray about his coming, and how you feel about seeing him.  Respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in this regard.

Knowing Jesus 8

The Aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the life purpose of Jesus Christ, and our participation in that.

Scripture

mediator_men_God

1 Timothy 2:1-6 (ESV)

1  First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

3  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4  who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

5  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6  who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

Observations

In this chapter Paul gives instruction to young Timothy for public worship, beginning with corporate prayers.

Hint: for a good reflection and understanding exercise ask “who | what | where | when | why | how”? about the text.
Hint: for a good reflection and understanding exercise ask “who | what | where | when | why | how”? about the text.
  1. Answer the following questions regarding Paul’s instructions in verses 1 and 2:
  • How do we pray? (and what do you understand with the words used in his appeal?)
  • For whom should we pray?
  • Why should we pray?
  • How do you link “prayers… for kings” to “peaceful and quite life”?
  • When Paul wrote this (from Prison in Rome) – who was king (approximately 62-65 AD)?
  1. Answer the following questions regarding Paul’s motive in verses 3 and 4:
  • To whom should we pray?
  • What is good and pleasing in God’s sight?
  • What do we learn about God and our motive for prayer?
  • Who does God desire to save?
  1. Answer the following questions regarding Paul’s motive in verses 5 and 6:
  • Why is “the man Jesus Christ” the only “mediator between God and men”?
  • What does the phrase “who gave himself as a ransom for all” refer to?
  • What the phrase “ransom for all” mean? To whom was the “ransom” paid?
  • How could Jesus death be a sufficient ransom for the sins of “all”?
  1. Paul says there is “one mediator between God and men” and also that we should “[make] prayers [and] intercession… for all men” – do you find that strange? How do you understand our role in reconciling man with God if Jesus is the Mediator / Peacemaker?

Application

  1. Picture yourself before God, the Creator and Judge of all. He can see everything about your heart, mind and life.  How do you feel?  [If you feel guilty and shameful, share with your small group leader or pastor]
  2. What has Jesus the Mediator done for you personally between you and God?

Prayer

As the Holy Spirit to search and reveal your heart. Think of the most shameful things you have done in your life.  Reflect on weaknesses and sinful habits. Now, in prayer, approach God with the One True Mediator, Jesus Christ. Confess you sins (as specific as you can), ask for forgiveness based on Christ’s “ransom” (his death on your behalf), and thank God for that.

Now spend some time in prayer, intercession, supplications (asking for things) and thanks for our country’s leaders – to God who wants all people saved.

woman_kneeling_prayer

Knowing Jesus 7

The Aim of this devotional study is to evaluate your own personal belief of Jesus Christ’s identity and life, as we look at Peter’s confession of him.

Scripture

Matthew 16:13-21

13  Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14  And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17  And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.  18  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  19  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

20  Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

21  From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Observations

Note: Caesarea Philippi was located at the base of Mt Hermon, next to a natural spring that gushed from the mountain (which used to be the source of the Jordan river) – a place of pagan worship and rituals.  Next to the fountain was a temple of the Greek god Pan (see images below).  The city was rebuilt and renamed in 3BC by Philip II, son of Herod the Great, renamed the city Caesarea Philippi in honour of Caesar Augustus (14AD) and later he pressed his own coins with his face on in 30AD – considered an act of idolatry by the Jews.

Thus, in Jesus’ day this city was renown for animistic pagan worship at the natural spring, Greek worship of Pan, Roman emperor worship of Caesar and even veneration of Philip himself.  And here Jesus chose to ask his disciples: “Who do you say I am?”

Current excavation site of Philippi Caesarea with artist rendition of how it probably looked in the days of Jesus.  Note the various pagan temples - especially the temple of Pan at the mouth of the cave - the source of ancient the Jordan River.
Current excavation site of Philippi Caesarea with artist rendition of how it probably looked in the days of Jesus. Note the various pagan temples – especially the temple of Pan at the mouth of the cave – the source of ancient the Jordan River.
The Greek god Pan - half-man, half-goat, playing the flute.  Several images and inscriptions of this god was found in Philippi Caesarea.
The Greek god Pan – half-man, half-goat, playing the flute. Several images and inscriptions of this god was found in Philippi Caesarea.
  1. Considering the background knowledge of the city mentioned above, what depth does it add to Jesus posing the question of his identity in this city?
  2. Unpack Peter’s confession of Jesus (verse 16) – what do the parts of the confession mean?
  3. Directly after Peter’s of Jesus, Jesus said things to Peter (verse 18-19). What did Jesus do with these sayings? What can we learn from that? [hint: identity]
  4. It appears as though Jesus’ relationship with his disciples changed from that moment onward (verse 21). What changed, and what can you learn from this?

Application:

  1. Like in Jesus’ day, there are many religions, philosophies, opinions and feelings about life. Jesus poses this same question to you who have walked a while with him: who do YOU say he is?  What do you believe about the identity of Jesus?  Who is he to you?  Why do you say so?
  2. After Peter confessed Jesus’ identity, Jesus affirmed Peter’s identity and purpose. What does Jesus say about you?  Who are you?  Has he said something about your future to you yet?  Ask the Lord, and write down what you believe to be true about yourself.

Prayer

Spend some time to tell the Lord Jesus who you believe him to be. (take your time).

Then ask him to tell you who you are in him. (write this down).

Knowing Jesus 6

The Aim of this devotional study is to learn about Jesus’ identity from a confession of Jesus.

Scripture

John 1:19-34

19  And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”  20  He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”  21  And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”  22  So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23  He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

24  (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)

25  They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”  26  John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27  even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”

28  These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29  The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  30  This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’  31  I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32  And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.  33  I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’  34  And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

Observations

Note: Every single story recorded in John’s gospel is written to give a revelation of who Jesus is, so that the reader may have faith in Jesus – refer to John 20:30-31 “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

  1. What was the ministry of John the Baptist? And what was the purpose of his ministry? (see verse 31).
  2. Looking at these verses, what can you learn about the identity and ministry of Jesus from John the Baptist’s sayings? (Take special notice of the names and titles attributed to Jesus.)
  3. This event occurred the week before Passover feast, and every Jewish family was looking for a lamb to be slaughtered to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt; what did it mean when John called Jesus “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”? (verse 29)
  4. What did John mean when he said about Jesus “After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’” (verse 30) Why did he need to say that to the crowd gathering around him?

Application and prayer

  1. John’s hearers were Jews who believed and God and came to be baptized with water as a sign of repentance, to make God number one in their lives (refer to Acts 19:1-7). However, John pointed them towards Jesus, saying he alone could take away their sins.  Think back on your life – was there ever a moment when you, seeking God, received revelation that Jesus is the only he who could take away your sins?  Relive that moment, and thank God for it.  Are you still living with the reality that Jesus only can make you clean before God?  Commit to that!
  2. John said that Jesus was more important (in ministry and person) to himself. Take some time and think how your life reflects – or does not reflect – that truth.  In which ways can you show today (and this week) that Jesus is superior to you?
  3. Spend some time and worship Jesus as The Lamb of God that took your sins away, the Christ who baptizes with the Holy Spirit (read “makes us children of God”), the Superior One, and the Son of God.

Knowing Jesus 5

The Aim of this devotional study is to discover the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ as displayed in the gospel of John.

Scripture

John 11:1-45

1  Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2  It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3  So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

4  But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

5  Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

6  So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  7  Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again… Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12  The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”

13  Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14  Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15  and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” …

17  Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.  18  Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19  and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.  20  So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22  But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”

23  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24  Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

27  She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”  28  When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”  29  And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.

30  Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.

31  When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.  32  Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.

34  And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”

35  Jesus wept.  36  So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

38  Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  39  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40  Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

41  So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”

44  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45  Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46  but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

Observations

  1. Reading through the chapter, mark all the phrases that highlight the humanity of Jesus.
  2. Now mark all the phrases in this chapter which highlight the divinity of Jesus (i.e. his super-natural abilities and comments).
  3. Write down the names and titles attributed to Jesus in this chapter.

Application

  1. The two sisters both felt disappointed that Jesus came too late to save their brother – in which way can you identify with that?
  2. In which way does this event, and specifically Jesus’ “very human” response make you feel about your real needs? How does the humanity of Jesus depicted in this chapter influence the way you relate with him?
  3. Now how does Jesus’ divinity as expressed in this account influence the way approach him regarding your needs?

Prayer

Spend some time to pray to the Lord about being your “Resurrection and the Life?”  – eternally as well as the God who can bring life to every situation you face.  Worship him!

[Do you have confidence that you “will rise with him in the Last Day?”  If you have questions about this, don’t hesitate to contact your church office or mail durbanville@shofaronline.org]

Knowing Jesus 4

The Aim of this Biblical Study is to grow in the knowledge of the humanity of Jesus Christ.

Scripture

Hebrews 4:14-5:1-9

14  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1  For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  2  He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3  Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people.

4  And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was. 5  So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”…

7  In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.  8  Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9  And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Observations

  1. What are the names and titles attributed to Jesus in this passage? What do each mean or imply about the person and ministry of Jesus?
  2. Read through the passage above and mark every phrase that highlights the humanity of Jesus.
  3. According to this passage, what are the qualifications of a high priest? How does Jesus fulfill it?

Application and prayer

  1. If you were a struggling addict, or someone constantly resisting sexual temptations, or a tired mother battling to keep her rage intact with a rebellious three-year old, but you want to please God from your heart – which parts of this passage would be comforting to you? Why?
  2. Write your three biggest character weaknesses / habitual sins (pray and think before you write). In which way can the man, Jesus relate to your struggle?
  3. Now in prayer approach Jesus your High Priest boldly and pray for mercy for forgiveness, as well as grace to overcome these fleshly weaknesses. (Be sincere – pray for a while with passion from your heart).
  4. Now pray for someone close to you who struggle to overcome some fleshly weakness, and afterwards send them an encouraging message – or even better – visit them personally and encourage them in Christ.

Note: Image “Approach the Throne of Grace as a Child” found at https://wolfspain.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/10-04-11-approach_throne_child.jpg

Knowing Jesus 3

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in the knowledge of the ministry and identity of Jesus.

Scripture

Hebrews 1:1-13

1  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4  having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

5  For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?  6  And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

7  Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.”

8  But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9  You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

10  And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11  they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12  like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

13  And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

Observation

  1. In v1-2 the author of Hebrews writes “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” What does he mean too say?  Write this in your own words.
  2. What do we learn of Jesus and his life in the introductory verses (v1-4)?
  3. In v5-13 the author quotes several Psalms where God was speaking to His Son. Make a list of the things God says/ said to his Son? (as quoted above)

Application

  1. Reading the text above, summarize what we learn from Jesus in three points.
  2. Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (v3). From Scripture we learn that we ought to be conformed to the image of Jesus, i.e. “the radiance of the glory of [Jesus] and the exact imprint of [Jesus’] nature”.  Just looking at the text above, what can we prayerfully emulate about Jesus today? (hint: consider v9)

Prayer

The epistle to the Hebrews is in big part about the Superiority of Jesus over all things, as we read today he is superior to the angels.  Our correct response is worship; spend some time and worship our Lord – tell Him his worth!

Then pray to God to cultivate the heart of Jesus in you to “love righteousness and hate wickedness.”

Knowing Jesus 2

The Aim of this devotional study is to know Jesus and his ministry on earth, as well as his relationship with God the Father and Holy Spirit.

Scripture:

[The context: It’s a while after Pentecost, and Peter is presenting the gospel to non-Jews in Cornelius’ house for the first time after the Lord Jesus gave him a vision to not prevent them from the gift of salvation]

Acts 10:36-42

36  “As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37  you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

39  And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40  but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41  not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42  And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.”

Observation:

(Note: use a pen and paper today – it won’t take longer but you will learn so much more!)

  1. What did Peter tell the Cornelius’ household of the life and ministry of Jesus? (what Jesus did and will do).
  2. From this preaching, what would Cornelius’ household learn about the names, titles and offices of Jesus? (who Jesus is)
  3. In this sermon of Peter we learn quite a bit about the God being three-in-one. What does Peter reveal to the non-Jewish hearers about the relationship between God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

Application

  1. Have you experienced Jesus as the Healer and Deliverer yet? How and when?
  2. How do you relate to Jesus as “Lord of all” (10v36)
  3. Peter preached that Jesus will be your “judge”? How do you feel and how do you reason about that?
  4. Peter said “Jesus commanded us to preach and testify…” – who is the first person that comes to mind that need to hear Jesus saving gospel?

Prayer

  1. Do you need healing or deliverance? Pray to the Healer and Deliverer!
  2. Pray a prayer of submission (your whole life or one specific aspect) to Jesus, the Lord of All.

Pray with David to Jesus, the Judge of All the verses below, then respond to what the Lord shows you in prayer.

Psalms 139:23-24   “Search me, [Lord[, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

God bless you with confidence today!

Knowing Jesus 1

The Aim of today’s devotional study is to grow in the knowledge of Jesus and our appropriate response to Him.

Scripture

Mark 4:35-41

35  On that day, when evening had come, [Jesus] said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36  And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.

38  But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

39  And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  40  He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

41  And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Observations

  1. Mark uses repetition here to show how the disciples responded inwardly to during this episode on the stormy ocean. What is that repeated word?  (v37, v39, v41).  So what is the lesson he wants to convey?
  2. There seem to deliberate correlation with Jonah’s story here.

Jonah 1:4-6, 15-16

4  But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.

5  Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep.

6  So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

15  So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging.

16  Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.

  1. What similarities do you see between the two stories above?
  2. What differences do you see differences between the two stories above?
  3. Look again at the similar response of both the disciples (Mark 4:41) and the mariners (Jonah 1:16) after the storm was stilled.  What do you see more clearly now that you compare the two stories? So what is another word then for the “great fear” the disciples had towards Jesus?
  4. This storm / crisis on the sea appeared to have been a great opportunity for the disciples to grow in their understanding of who Jesus is. How did they know him initially? (v38).  How did they know him after the storm?

Application

  1. Has there ever been a “great storm” in your life that was too big for you to handle, and you cried out to the Lord and He brought “great calm”? How did you grow in the knowledge of the Lord then?
  2. During that crisis, did you respond appropriately like the disciples (in Mark 4) marines (in Jonah 1) with “great fear” or in other words great worship”? Do so now.
  3. What life lesson do you wish to take away from this Bible study where Jesus calmed the storm?
  4. What knowledge of Jesus (from this Biblical account) do you wish to hide in your heart?

Prayer

Close by praying the short Psalm 93 over your life and circumstance:

1  The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. 2  Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.

3  The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.

4  Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! 

5  Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.