Prayer Psalm: 11
Prayer Point: Two of our brothers, Pastor Behnam Irani and Youcef Nadarkhani are languishing in a Iranian prison under the threat of death for preaching the gospel. Their jailers taunt them that Jesus cannot save them. Pray that God intervenes on behalf of his people, and gives these men hope that no matter what happens, we will one day see his face.
Jesus seems to be going out of his way to turn-off his crowds of adoring fans. He claims that he is the true bread come down from heaven, not the food he gave to the five thousand (John 6:11) nor the manna that Israel ate in the desert (see Exodus 16). The crowds are repulsed because Jesus’ teaching is beginning to sound like cannibalism. Even his disciples beg him to tone down his teaching.
How does Jesus react to the restlessness of the crowds and the skepticism of his disciples?
Jesus often used the title “son of man” to assert his divinity. This is a reference to a prophetic vision from Daniel 7:13-14 where a figure called “one like a son of man” ascends into heaven and is placed by the Ancient of Days (God the Father) on the throne of heaven, with authority over all that God has created. He is demanding that his disciples accept his divine authority in order to follow him.
What does it take for someone to accept this hard teaching and come to Jesus? Why doesn’t Peter leave also? What does he believe? How does Jesus explain Peter’s faith? Why will one of the 12 turn away in the end?
On the night Jesus was betrayed, he gave this promise to his disciples (and to all of us):
John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing [miracles]. He will do greater things than these.
Where do you see this promise operating in today’s reading? What miracles does Peter perform in Lydda and Joppa? What impact did these miracles have on those who lived in that area?
You might remember that the apostles were called to be witnesses of Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). The apostles for some reason had been reluctant to leave Jerusalem. Finally, we see Peter and the other apostles moving out into the wider world.
Job 6:1-14, 8-15, 21 – Job responds to Eliphaz
Job has a keen appreciation of his situation. How does he liken it? (He feels that his misery “would surely outweigh the sand of the seas.” (Job 6:3 NIV))
How does Job sum up his position with God? (“God’s terrors are marshaled against me.” (Job 6:4b NIV))
How does Job show us his integrity in verses 8-10? (“Then I would still have this consolation – my joy in unrelenting pain – that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.” (Job 6:10 NIV))
What virtue does Job display in verses 11-13? (Job is resigning himself to the will of God. He does not display rebellion.)
What does Job say about a despairing man and undependable brothers? (“A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” (Job 6:14 NIV) Undependable brothers are like streams that swell in the spring thaw and yet dry up in the summer. Not constant.)
What charge does Job lay at his friend (Eliphaz) feet? (“Now you too have proved to be of no help.” (Job 6:21a NIV))