Prayer Psalm: 139
Prayer Point: Have you ever stopped and contemplated that the Creator of the universe has searched and knows you? He was there when you were conceived. He will be there when you close your eyes for the last time in this life. He has been with you at all times and in places. How would your life change if you believed this? Ask God to search you and expose your unbelief so that you might confess it and receive the faith to overcome it.
There are two very different reactions to the resurrection of Lazarus. What are they? Why do the Pharisees decide that they can’t allow Jesus to continue to healing the blind and raising the dead? What does this tell you about the hardness of their hearts? Whom do they fear more, God or the Romans, despite the miracles?
How is Caiaphas, the high priest, an accidental prophet? How does Caiaphas unwittingly serve God’s purposes even though he is fighting Jesus, the Son of God? What does Jesus do in response to the death threats?
This does not betray Jesus’ fear. He will die and he knows this, but he will die at a time and place of his own choosing.
I don’t think people realize how extraordinary a step it was for Jerusalem church to accept Gentiles without circumcision. This wasn’t a cultural preference, but a command from the Old Testament that they were setting aside. This is amazing considering that Jesus was silent on this issue. He left them to wrestle with this question without him.
As you read the letter from the Jerusalem Council, what insight does it give you into how they came to their courageous decision? Who guided them? What does this decision do for the church and the preaching of the gospel?
Job 38:1-17 – The LORD Speaks
“Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm.” Uh oh! “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.” (Job 38:1-2 NIV) That question from the LORD would strike fear in me to my soul. What questions does the LORD ask which should drain anyone who hears them of pride? (“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? (38:4 NIV) Who marked off its dimensions? Who stretched a measuring line across it? (38:5 NIV) On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone? (38:6 NIV)” They continue in this vein. I think we get the message: who are you to question Me?)
Most of these questions from the LORD were meant to intimidate. What question does the LORD ask Job which he will be able to answer in time? (“Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? (Job 38:17 NIV))