April 11, 2019
Currently, the middle school group is in a short series on the importance of scripture and how it tells one unified story. Last night specifically, the students spent their time in in Luke 24:13-34 in which Jesus talks to some of his followers after his resurrection (but hides his identity from them). The Jesus followers were talking about all the events that had occurred, and how they had thought Jesus was supposed to “redeem Israel.” Jesus, responded by opening up the scriptures to them, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpret to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (John 24:27). The night was focused on the fact that Jesus knew the scriptures, and he knew that He was the central point of those scriptures! If Jesus knew and loved the scriptures, then we aught to know and love the scriptures – looking for Jesus even in the Old Testament stories and characters. Here are some suggested follow up questions to ask your student in follow up:
- Emily challenged each of the students to write down an attainable goal for reading the scriptures more. Something like “I’ll read the Bible for 5 minutes a day” or “I’ll try to memorize one verse a week.” It would be good to follow up with your student, asking them what their goal is, and helping keep them accountable to maintaining it.
- Does the idea of “loving” the Bible seem weird to you? Why? Why not?
- How does knowing the Bible make it more natural to love the Bible?
- How does loving the Bible help you get closer to Jesus?
The high school crew spent the night in 1 Peter 3:18-22, in what is a pretty confusing passage to understand. The last time that the students met, we had a lot of questions about what Peter meant when he said that Jesus was “made alive in the spirit in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison…” (1 Peter 3:19). The conclusion here is that, sometimes, the Bible deals with things that we can’t fully understand. I offered the students a couple of suggestion on what Peter could mean, consulting a few different scholars who had written on the subject. Moving on in the passage, we spent quite a while discussing verses 20-22, in which Peter seems to say that baptism “saves us.” After further study, we concluded that baptism doesn’t save us, but rather, it is a symbol of what saves us! Ultimately, it is faith in Jesus that saves us, and the act of baptism symbolize our union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection to new life. Peter relates baptism to the ark of Noah that guides them over the waters of judgement. In this way, Jesus is our ark, and He is the one that makes us prevail to new life through the waters of judgement, just like the ark did in Noah’s day. God is being patient in this time, like He was in the days of Noah, so that anyone who would trust in believe in Jesus would be safe from coming judgement through the new ark, Jesus Christ!