Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
Some people treat faith as if it is a magical healing force. “You can be healed,” some will say, “if you have enough faith.” But faith is not a force; it is trust in Christ. Faith is only as good as what it trusts in. The Canaanite woman is healed not simply because she has faith, but because she has faith in Jesus – that He loves her and desires to help her.
Why does sickness plague us? Because sin plagues us. When some friends of a paralyzed man bring Him to Jesus, before He heals the man physically, Jesus heals the man spiritually – He forgives this man’s sins. Though we cannot say that it is some specific sin that leads to an illness, disease is a part of and the result of living in a sinful, fallen broken world. Therefore, we all need healing.
On Reformation Day, we remember that we are God’s treasure. Indeed, God treasures us so much that He sends His Son to die so that we might be saved. In Mark 10, when Jesus meets a rich young man, He immediately treasures him: “Jesus looked at him and loved him” (verse 21). But this rich young man will not respond to Jesus’ love in faith.
Too often, we value the things of this world above the things of God. In two short parables, Jesus asks us to envision this world’s most precious treasures and then asks: What if we pursued the treasure of God’s kingdom as passionately as we pursued the treasures of this world?
Zacchaeus began as a man who look out only for himself. But then he met Jesus and went from being greedy – concerned only with his wealth and needs – to generous, gladly giving sacrificially of himself to serve others. When we put others before our money, this inspires generosity. Do we live as Zacchaeus lived?
Everyone is tempted. Even Jesus was tempted. Jesus responds to temptation with the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God. This is how we too are called to respond to temptation. In this message, we learn about Satan’s tactics for tempting us and how we can stand strong against him
Baptism washes our sins away (cf. Acts 22:16). Of course, Jesus had no sins to wash away, yet He still wanted to be baptized! This is why the one whom Jesus asks to baptize Him, John the Baptist, becomes so puzzled. During Jubilee Weekend, we take a look at the theology of baptism and learn how we should follow Jesus’ lead in baptism and trust the promises He gives through baptism.
Jesus is not always easy to understand. His parents learned that early on. What do we do when we are puzzled by Jesus’ ways? We respond like His mother: “His mother treasured all these things in her heart” (verse 51). In this message, we learn some methods we can use to better understand Jesus’ sometimes puzzling works and ways.
People often wonder, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This was Peter’s conundrum – except that he was wondering why bad things would happen to Jesus! In Jesus’ suffering, we see how God can use suffering to accomplish His purposes.
Recently, CNN featured an article by Reza Aslan, a former Muslim turned “Christian.” He said about Jesus: “Today, I can confidently say that two decades of rigorous academic research into the origins of Christianity has made me a more genuinely committed disciple of Jesus of Nazareth than I ever was of Jesus Christ. I have modeled my life not after the celestial spirit whom many Christians believe sacrificed himself for our sins, but rather after the illiterate, marginal Jew who gave his life fighting an unwinnable battle against the religious and political powers of his day.” To Reza, Jesus was a zealot, but not the Messiah. Jesus, however, thinks of Himself as much more than a rebel. In a world that has many different conceptions of Jesus, it is important to know who He really is: God come to earth as a man to save us.
Many people worry about their friends who do not know Jesus. They ask, “Will I see them in heaven?” “How can I reach them with the gospel?” In Revelation 3, John describes Jesus’ persistent knocking on the doors of the hearts of those who either do not know Him or who are far from Him (verse 20). Though it may take a long time, we too are called to knock on the doors of our friends’ hearts with the message of Christ.
With nearly ubiquitous access to the Internet, social media, and smart phones, there is an abundance of things which can distract us from what is most important in our lives. We can even lose sleep over such distractions as we trade needed rest for mindless distractions! In Luke 10, Martha is distracted from making preparations for Jesus’ visit (verse 40). But Jesus calls her to focus on Him. He calls us to do the same.
Work can become so overwhelming that people can lose sleep over it or have nightmares about it. When Jesus was about to go to the cross to do the work of salvation, understandably, He was overwhelmed. How did He handle His heavy workload? He went to His Father in prayer. We should follow Jesus’ lead.
With increasing frequency, there are many who are expressing anxiety over the direction of our country. Can the U.S. survive many wars, high debt, and moral decay? The book of Daniel reminds us of two things. First, God cares about those in power. Again and again, God pursues Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, seeking to make him His follower. Second, even if worldly kingdoms fall, God’s Kingdom stands forever. And we are residents first and foremost of His Kingdom.
Have your kids ever woken you up at night because they thought they heard a noise? That’s what Samuel did to Eli. But in Samuel’s case, the voice he heard was the very voice of the Lord. Tragically, though Eli paid close attention to his Samuel, he paid little attention to his own children, Hophni and Phineas. Though kids cause us concern, they should, in some sense, “keep us up at night” because we love them and want what’s best for them.