Showing posts from April, 2019

From beginning to end - who is He?

Easter, resurrection, ascension coming soon ... okay, maybe our coffee break study's back on track with the season, as a select group of disciples get to "see" who Jesus is, having just answered who they think he is. We've ended up with a study that will take us all over the Bible from beginning to end, but perhaps that's the point ... the story of who He really is. (49) Now, who will they say that he is? Jesus has just asked the disciples who people think he is. When Peter declares that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah, Jesus promptly predicts his death, and the sufferings in store for his followers too. But now, perhaps in answer to their confusion, God reveals his answer to the question of who Jesus is. Read Matthew 17:1-2, Mark 9:2-3, Luke 9:28-29 1.        What’s the difference between 8 days and 6 days? Read Exodus 24:16 2.        What’s special about Jesus’ face shining? Read Exodus 34:29 3.        What’s special about white clothes? Read Daniel 7:

Easter in Peter's Heart?

The timing's a little off isn't it? We've just celebrated Easter, but in our Coffee Break group we're just approaching the Passion. But maybe that's good timing, because Easter isn't just one day a year--Easter is the resurrection life we're supposed to celebrate every day. And the Passion...? This week we read about Peter, just declared (last week) to be the rock on which the church would stand, now proving to be the stumbling block placing himself in Jesus' path. I wonder how often we are that stumbling block... (48) Get Behind Me, Satan… and take up your cross? Peter has confessed what the disciples are all beginning to accept, that Jesus is the Christ. But then, read Matthew 16:20, Mark 8:30, Luke 9:21 Jesus tells him to tell no one. 1.        With the crowds all making their guesses, why doesn’t Jesus want the disciples to speak? Reading on, he seems to tie tell no one to his coming death; can you think how publicizing Peter’s answer might h

Risen Indeed

What threatened us was promise And what we feared was hope. In the grave we laid him Left him then he rose. Do not fear  he whispered. Tell the world  he said Love to loveless given Risen from the dead. Now he gives us promise Hope instead of fear. In the grave our trials Were crushed.  The future’s here! He’s risen indeed!


We've just celebrated Palm Sunday in church. Jesus' death and resurrection are much on our minds. So perhaps it's fitting that we're just getting to that part of our Bible study where Jesus begins to tell his disciples what's to come. First though, he asks them to put it all in context. Who do they really think he is? ... And who do we think he is? (47) What’s in a Name? Jesus is back in Galilee at last. Most commentators believe he’s heading south now on his final trip. He knows what’s waiting for him in Jerusalem, but his disciples don’t. We know, but let’s try to read this as if we’re just finding out… First there’s another miracle. Having just asked his disciples why they still don’t understand, Jesus heals a blind man: Read Mark 8:22-26   Which recent miracle does it remind you of? ( Read Mark 7:33 ) 1.        How are men like trees walking? How does this relate to things science has taught us about restored vision? 2.        The Pharisees asked for

Time to feed the dogs?

In the last year of Jesus' ministry, he's surely thinking of what's to come. Meanwhile his disciples are frequently confused. And his opponents are determined to distract everyone from following him. So... Jesus escapes into the Gentile world. Will he relax and gather his strength for the ordeal to come? Will he take those uncomprehending disciples to task and teach them what they need to know? Will he rejoice in the absence of conflict... or will there even be an absence of conflict? Matthew and Mark both tell the tale... (46) Welcome Signs The authorities have followed Jesus from Jerusalem all the way to Galilee and are still causing trouble, asking troubling questions, distracting the disciples from Jesus’ final year of teaching. So perhaps it’s time to move even further from the center of Judaism. But of course, there’s no escaping the crowds. Read Matthew 15:21-22, Mark 7:24-26 1.        A Syro-Phoenician Greek Canaanite… The woman was probably quite rich and i

Have you washed your hands?

Last time we asked if it was okay to misunderstand things, to accept that we don't know it all, and maybe to end up with different interpretations and traditions. This week we seem to be continuing the theme, with Jesus' followers accused of not following the right traditions. But perhaps it's more important to follow the one the traditions were meant to lead us to... (45) What Are Our Traditions? Jesus fed the 5,000, sailed (or walked) across the water, healed lots of people, taught in fields and synagogues about the bread of life, and annoyed the authorities. Matthew and Mark continue the story with scribes and Pharisees coming from Jerusalem to question him. Read Matthew 15:1-2, Mark 7:1-5 Do you wash your hands before you eat? Why? 1.        Why doesn’t Matthew explain about ritual washing? 2.        Does this passage mean other nations didn’t wash their hands? 3.        Do we have “rituals” that separate us from other people—things that Christians do or d