Acts 3:1-26

  1. The cripple’s physical cure (verses 1-11) is a picture of the spiritual truths of the gospel of salvation. Note how it shows
    (a) man’s need’s need,
    (b) the necessity of faith,
    (c) the importance of personal witness,
    (d) the assurance of salvation,
    (e) the miracle of salvation itself. (Peter explains how it happened in verses 12-16.)
    Have you been the link between Christ and a personal in need as Peter was that day?
  2. In addressing the people of his own nation, what sins does Peter charge against them?
    What promises does he make to them and on what conditions?
    How far are his words applicable to us who are not Jews?

Notes

  1. Verses 6. ‘In the name of Jesus’ means ‘by the authority’, ‘with the power’ of Jesus. Cf. verse 16; 4:12.
  2. Verses 13, 26. ‘Servant’: cf. Is. 52: 13 (also 42: 1-4; 49:5, 6; 50:1-10). Peter is making a fearless proclamation of the Lord’s Messiahship. Cf. 4:27, 30.

Acts 1:12-26

  1. What two actions did the disciples take during this waiting period?
    Can you suggest reasons why?
  2. Compare Judas (especially verses 16, 17) with Jesus’ brothers (verse 14). Cf. John 7:5.
    What warning and encouragement do they give you?

1 Kings 15:1-16:7

  1. In this portion two kings of Judah are mentioned and two of Israel.
    Who were they?
    What facts do we learn about each of them?
  2. What is the one standard by which these men are judged in Scripture?
    In relation to this stand, which of them was approved, and why?
    What does this teach us concerning eternal values?

Notes

  1. 15:10. Some translations have: ‘His mother’s name’: strictly his grandmother (see verses 2 and 8). Maacah apparently continued to be officially ‘queen mother (see verse 13).
  2. 15:17. ‘Ramah’ was only five miles from Jerusalem to the north.
  3. 16:7. ‘Because he destroyed it’: cf. 15:27, 29.

John 17

Jesus’ prayer falls into three divisions:
(a) verses 1-5, for himself;
(b) verses 6-19, for the immediate circle of disciples;
(c) verses 20-26, for the great company who should afterwards believe.

  1. The hour of Jesus’ supreme has come (verse 1; cf. 2:4; 7:6, 30; 8:20; 13:1). How is this related to the glorifying of the Son and the Father (verses 1-4)?
    Already the glory of God has been seen in Jesus (1:14); how is it seen also in his disciples (verse 22)?
    When will they see the full glory of the Son (verses 5, 24)?
  2. In verses 6-14, note how many things Jesus has already done for his disciples.
  3. What does our Lord pray that the Father will do for those whom he has given him?
    Is this prayer being answered in you?
    Are you ‘truly sanctified’ (verse 19)?

Notes

  1. Verse 2. ‘Authority’, the whole of humanity lies within the sphere of Christ’s commission. Cf. Ps. 2:8; Matt. 28:18,19.
  2. Verse 5. A prayer that the glory, of which for a time he had ‘made himself nothing’ (Phil. 2:6, 7), might be restored to him.
  3. Verses 17, 19. Note the repetition of the word ‘sanctify’. Jesus sanctified himself to the holy Father in fulfillment of his perfect will, particularly in offering himself as the sacrifice for sin. Cf. Heb. 10:5-10. This shows what true sanctification involves.

Luke 16:14-31

For what was the rich man punished?
In what way does this parable reinforce the lesson of verse 9?
What does the parable teach about the reality of future punishment and the means of avoiding it?
What ought men to be doing now?
And why?

Note. Verses 16, 17. The ministry of John the Baptist marked the end of the Jewish prerogative.
Men of every race and kind could from now on come into the kingdom.
Yet the moral law remained unchanged; e.g., verses 18, the sanctity of marriage.

 

Luke 4:31-44

  1. What two facts about Jesus particularly impressed the people in the synagogue?
    Note also the even more discerning testimony of the demons (verses 34, 41).
    Why did Jesus silence this?
  2. This passage illustrates the busyness and urgency of Jesus’ mission (see especially verse 43).
    Why then did he retire to a lonely place (verse 42)?
    Cf., in this Gospel, 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28; 11:1; etc.
    What can we learn from this example?

Judges 7:24-8:35

  1. Note
    (a) Gideon’s dealings with the complaints of Ephraim and with the lack of co-operation of the elders of Succoth and Penuel;
    (b) the vigour of his pursuit and capture of Zebah and Zalmunna, and the respect that these princes showed him.
    What various aspects of character are revealed here?
  2. What temptation did Gideon overcome?
    Contrast, however, the frequent references to God’s guidance in the earlier part of the narrative with the entire absence of this in 8:24-27.
    Why did Gideon, who had given such able leadership in the national crisis, fail to give adequate leadership in a time of peace?
    Is it true that we tend to reply on God only when are ‘up against it’?

 

Note. The ephod of the high priest (Exod. 28) was a shoulder garment covering the breast and back, ornamented with gems and gold, and having in front the breastplate containing the Urim and Thummin, which were manipulated to discover God’s will. Gideon’s ephod (8:24-27) may have been an elaborate reproduction, or it may have been some kind of free-standing image. In any case it was used to ascertain God’s answer in a particular situation, but the people came to regard it as a kind of idol.