Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Luke's Gospel Studies|
A. Find Out:
1. Who went were, when? v.1
2. What did they find when they got there? v.2,3
3. Who appeared to them and what did they ask? v.4,5
4. What did they then tell them and remind them? v.6-8
5. What did the women then do? v.9,10
6. What response did they get, with what exception? v.11,12
The resurrection accounts are confusing – which even more suggests their trust. A whole range of events were happening but for the main players it was totally confusing and totally unexpected. Why? Well, when have you seen a person who has been dead come back to life…..
Combining the various stories it would appear the women came, saw the empty tomb and angels, ran and told the disciples, two of whom came. The women followed up and then Mary was met by angels and then Jesus. Luke the physician, who so often focuses on the human elements, portrays the confusion of the various players. First there are the women who go back after Sabbath to ensure the body is properly embalmed. The grave is open and the body gone.
They wonder. Two angels tell the truth but the women give no sign of having totally taken it in. They tell the disciples but are not convincing. Peter goes and looks and is left wondering – and all this in the face of Jesus having told them that this is exactly what would happen! So why so much doubt? For the reason we stated above. If we've read or heard the story many times it is easy to become blasé about it, but this is the most staggering event in history – the Son of God has risen from the dead – but dead men don't rise! But this one did, because he was God!!!!!
1. When you next doubt, remember the disciples and understand.
2. When you next find it hard to believe, remember the disciples!
A. Find Out:
1. Who were going where, doing what? v.13,14
2. Who came alongside? v .15,16
3. What did he ask and what did they reply? v.17,18
4. What did they tell him when asked? v.19-24
5. What was Jesus' response to them? v.25,26
6. So what did he do? v.27
In Luke's Gospel this is the first encounter with Jesus. It is a strange encounter in that a) it was on the road some miles from Jerusalem , b) it seems to involve two lesser disciples, and c) somehow they did not realise that it was Jesus.
Why did it happen like that? We aren't told, but we can speculate. Perhaps Jesus wanted to rebuild the disciples' faith in slow stages and so had different ones reporting back, bit by bit, until the truth would eventually sink in. Perhaps there is something different about Jesus now that he has a resurrected body. Whatever it was, the record stands – Jesus met with two disciples who were clear about all that had happened but not WHY is had happened, so he comes to remedy that. The important thing about the Cross is not only that it happened, but WHY it happened.
In answering why it happened, Jesus' answer is, because God said it would. The Cross had been spoken about directly or indirectly by God through His prophets down through the centuries. Isaiah 53, for example, is one of the classic passages telling us that the Messiah, the coming one, would be struck by God, carrying out iniquities and bearing our punishment. It was all there, clearly laid out but we had been unable to understand it. That's how it so often is with prophecy – we need God to explain it to us or show us it being fulfilled. God said it, then did it.
1. The Cross is all about God's love for us. Receive it.
2. The Cross is all about Jesus taking my sin. Worship him.
Chapter: Luke 24
Passage: Luke 24:28-35
A. Find Out:
1. Where did they come to & what did Jesus seem to do? v.28
2. But what did the two do, with what result? v.29
3. What did he do at the table and what happened? v.30,31
4. What did they feel about what had happened on the road? v.32
5. So what did they then do? v.33
6. What did they say? v.34,35
This passage has a number of unanswerable questions hanging over it. Why did Jesus look like he was going further? Was he simply there for these two disciples? If so, why look like he was going on? Perhaps because Jesus wants us to strongly express our desire for him to be with us. He wants no half heartedness.
Next, why did he only become recognisable at the breaking of the bread? Why was he still unrecognisable to them up to that point? Perhaps it was something to do with his resurrected body. Why did he then disappear? How did he disappear? We aren't told. There always will be unanswered questions in the Christian life. God hasn't promised to tell us everything, just sufficient.
When Jesus has gone, the men's words suggest them saying something like, “There, didn't we know there was something special about him when he was teaching us. I knew there was something different. Something in me was stirring all the time he was speaking”
They are so excited they walk another seven miles back to Jerusalem to tell the others. They must tell someone. Why? Isn't Jesus doing a good enough job telling who he wants to know? They don't know that and they just have to tell SOMEONE!!! They must have been tired out but that doesn't matter – he's alive!!!!!
1. Can you be at rest with God, not having all the answers?
2. Does the wonder of the resurrection thrill you?
A. Find Out:
1. What then happened in the room? v.36
2. What was the reaction of the disciples? v.37
3. How did Jesus reassure them? v.38-40
4. Yet what was their response still? v.41
5. So how further does he help them to believe? v.41b-43
The two from Emmaus have got back to Jerusalem and are in the room with the other main disciples when suddenly Jesus was standing there with them. Other Gospels say the room was locked but we've seen, previously, Jesus disappearing and so now he just appears. He is clearly moving in a different supernatural way now.
Despite having been told earlier in the day by the women and now by the two from Emmaus, that Jesus is alive, when he materialises the disciples just can't cope. Resurrection is such an alien concept that they couldn't believe before when Jesus told them about it, and they can't believe it now.
Jesus seeks to reassure them by basically saying, “Touch me and you'll know I'm real.” Yet still they cannot believe it because it seems too good to be true. We see in this passage two cause of unbelief: first that something is beyond our understanding and so causes fear, and second, that something just seems too good to believe. Both these things are very common in Christian experience.
OK, says Jesus, give me something to eat and he does the most ordinary thing in their presence, he eats a piece of fish. We have here both a supernatural Jesus and a very ordinary Jesus - both are true of him after the resurrection – but then we shouldn't be surprised because he is now the Son of God revealed .
A. Find Out:
1. Why did Jesus say it had all happened? v.44
2. What did he then do? v.45
3. What did he say had happened and will happen? v.46,47
4. What did he say they would be and what did they have to do? v.48,49
5. What did he later do with them? v.50,51
6. What did he leave the disciples doing? v.52,53
Having sought to convince them that he was real, Jesus now seeks to illuminate their minds so that they will understand all that has happened. He does it by reference to the Old Testament Scriptures which, he said, spoke all about him. They spoke of his death and resurrection and that repentance and forgiveness of sins will become the central planks of preaching the Gospel about Jesus. Oh yes, “in his name” (v.47) means that the Gospel will be explained only in relation to Jesus and what he has done on the Cross, and by his resurrection.
Now they understand these things, the disciples are to become witnesses. A witness is simply someone who has seen and heard and tells it. Yet, there is also here a hint that they are yet to receive more than just this information; they are to receive power from God, as they wait upon Him in Jerusalem.
Then comes the final supernatural act of this book – Jesus was taken up before them and disappears before their eyes. There is now absolutely no question in the minds of his disciples – this IS the Son of God, and they fall down and worship him as he goes. They then return to Jerusalem , full of praise and wonder and there they remain, praising God, while they wait for Him to send His power down on them as promised. There Luke ends, and to see the continuation we have to read his story of the acts of the apostles, that he then went on to write.
1. Is our Gospel wholly based in the Cross & Resurrection of Jesus?
2. Do we preach repentance and forgiveness of sins at the heart of it?
In this final group of 5 studies we have seen:
Unlike some of the other Gospels these resurrection accounts are less glorious and more about human confusion. Luke the physician, who seems to understand men, shows us the struggles of the disciples to believe the incredible thing that has just happened.
Unbelief seems to be a primary characteristic of all the followers of Jesus, from the women to the lesser disciples, to the inner circle. So staggering was this that it was virtually impossible for even the closest followers of Jesus to believe it when it happened.
In this way perhaps, Luke helps us see even more the wonder of what has happened, something utterly beyond our comprehension. How can a dead body come back to life after three days? It can't, it's impossible, but with God the impossible becomes possible.
1. With God the impossible becomes possible – it did happen!
2. With God the impossible becomes possible – it's still true today.
Thank the Lord for the staggering wonder of the Gospel, that He showed us that with Him nothing is impossible. Ask Him to help you really take that in as you live out your Christian life in relationship with Him. He is God Almighty – nothing is impossible for Him!
SECTION SUMMARY - Luke 21 to 24
In these studies we have seen:
1. Luke 21 - Final Hours of Teaching
2. Luke 22 - Arrest
3. Luke 23 - Trails & Crucifixion
4. Luke 24 - Resurrection
CONCLUSION - Luke 21 to 24
As we come to the end of this Gospel, the following may be some of the things we may wish to reflect on some more:
1. The Awfulness of the Sin of Mankind
Sin blinds us to the truth and only the Holy Spirit can truly reveal to us the terribleness of Sin in the human race. We constantly seek to excuse ourselves for our failures, and try to minimise both how bad it is and the effects of it. Yet when we read these chapters it stares us blatantly in the face.
First there are Jesus' closest followers. One of them betrays him for money, and the apparent leader of the rest actually denies Jesus three times. When it comes to being told he is alive, none of them believe it – despite the fact that he had told them what would happen.
Then there is the religious establishment of Judaism, so closely linked to the community leaders. Those who are supposed the reveal God to the rest of us, those who are supposed to be examples of goodness for the rest to follow, those who are supposed to be the pillars of truth, cast truth and righteousness aside like an old coat. Jesus grace and truth shows them up for what they are, and they don't like what they see.
Finally there is the might of Rome . Sometimes Rome had stood for truth, integrity and honour, but not here in this place. The governor again and again declares Jesus innocent, yet still hands him over to be executed. This is authority at its worst.
THIS is the human race revealed in all its awfulness!
2. The Staggering Wonder of God's Love
Remember, both Father and Son knew that it would all work out like this. They knew that when the sin of the world was confronted with utter goodness, it would lash back. Yet, despite that, the plan of heaven was carried through flawlessly. The Lamb of God was sacrificed at the hands of sinful man, taking the punishment for those who would eventually see and turn.
What must Jesus have felt as this drama unfolded, as he saw the hearts of all those who surrounded him, hearts that were weak, hearts that were corrupt, hearts that would turn on him. It is beyond our comprehension. We must simply read the account and accept what we're told – He did it for us. Worship Him!