1 Kings 3 & 4

  1. Solomon’s request was pleasing to God (3:10), but was it the highest gift he could have asked?
    Cf. Exod. 33:13; Phil. 3:8, 10.
    What do you put first in prayer?
    What do we learn of God’s dealings with man from the way in which he answered Solomon’s request?
  2. What good things are said about Solomon in these two chapters, and what benefits did his rule bring to his people?
    What, according to the writer, was the deepest ground of his prosperity?

Note. 4:4b. this was true only at the very beginning of Solomon’s reign. See 2:35.

1 Kings 2

  1. Enumerate the points David made in his final advice to his son Solomon.
  2. How and why were Adonijah, Joab and Shimei put to death?
    Solomon’s own reaction was to let bygones, but David counseled against this, and Solomon acted accordingly.
    What do you think was David’s motive in giving the counsel he did?
    What lessons can we learn from Adonijah’s life-story?

1 Kings 1

  1. Get hold of the story. Who supported Adonijah, and who supported Solomon, and by what mean s was Adonijah’s attempt to seize the throne frustrated?
    What can we learn about the character of each of these men?
  2. This is the last mention of Nathan in Scripture.
    In his action here and also in 2 Sam. 7 and 12 how does he exemplify by his faithful and disinterested conduct our duty as servants of God?

Notes.

  1. Verse 5. Adonijah, as David’s eldest surviving son (see 2 Sam. 3:4), had a claim to recognition (see 1Kgs. 2:15).
    At the same time this might be overrules by the king (verses 20 and 27).
  2. Verses 52, 53. Solomon spares Adonijah on certain conditions, but commands him to withdraw from public affairs.

John 21:15-25

  1. What is the significance of:
    (a) Jesus’ use of the name ‘Simon’ in addressing Peter (cf. 1:42);
    (b) the phrase ‘more than these’ (verse 15; cf. Mark 10:28-30; 14:29);
    (c) Jesus asking Peter three times, ‘Do you love me?’ (cf. 13:38)?
  2. Though Peter had failed, Jesus re-commissioned him. What does this teach about:
    (a) the Lord’s nature,
    (b) Peter’s spiritual condition?
    Can you expect always to be restored after a fall?
    What does the Lord require from you?
  3. What can we learn from verses 18-23 about:
    (a) the different ways in which the Lord directs the life of each one of his people;
    (b) what our own main concern is to be?

 Notes

  1. Verses 18, 19. According to tradition Peter died as a martyr in Rome.
  2. Verse 23. A statement introduced to correct a current misunderstanding of what the Lord had said about John.

John 21:1-14

  1. Compare this passage with Luke 5:1-11, nothing the similarities and the differences.
    Why did the disciples take up their old work again?
    What did they learn from this experience?
  2. What did the Lord reveal here:
    (a) about himself,
    (b) about the work that the disciples were to do?
    How does this revelation of the risen Lord affect your own life and work?

 Note.

Verse 14. ‘The third time’: first time, 20:19-23; second time, 20-24; third time, now in Galilee. See Mark 16:7. Probably the third recorded by this Gospel is meant here.

John 20:11-31

  1. Why was Mary so concerned that the body has gone from the tomb?
    What did Jesus convey to her when he said ‘Mary’?
    Why did he say, ‘Do not hold on to me’?
    Is it possible for us to miss the best in the Lord while holding on to the good?
  2. Does verse 19 show that the disciples were still doubting?
    What convinced them that Jesus was truly raised from the dead?
    Why as Thomas moved to make the complete avowal of faith, to which none of the others had yet attained?
    Was it only that he saw Jesus? How can one who has not seen him be led to faith in the risen Lord (verses 29-31)?
  3. In verses 21-23 the risen Christ commissions his apostles.
    By what authority, with what power and for what purpose, does he send them?

Note.

Verse 17. Note the distinction, ‘my Father and your Father’. Jesus never said of himself and his disciples, ‘Our Father’, as though their relation to God was the same as his. He is the only begotten Son; we are sons of God ‘in him’.

John 19:38-20:10

  1. What made both Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus now come out into the open?
    With 19:38 cf. Luke 23:50, 51; and trace Nicodemus’ growing faith, 3:1-15; 7:45-52.
    Both were members of the Sanhedrin, the Council of the Jews that had condemned Jesus.
  2. 20:1-10. How do these verses show that the disciples were not expecting the resurrection of the Lord?
    What does the description of Peter and John’s visit to the tomb reveal about each of their respective temperaments?
    What was it that John believed?

Notes

  1. 19:39. ‘About seventy-five pounds’ weight’: an exceptionally lavish amount.
  2. 20:5, 7. The position of the clothes showed that they had not been unwound from Jesus’ body. He had gone out, just as later he came in, where the doors were shut, without the doors being opened (20:19, 26).