Answers to Tough Questions (Life Discipleship Series Book 1)


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Once the man is beaten, robbed, and left for dead, a temple priest a descendant of Aaron happens by. Why did the priest fail to help the man? Leon Morris, in vol. But if he touched him and the man was in fact dead, then he would have incurred the ceremonial defilement that the Law forbade Lev. He could be sure of retaining his ceremonial purity only by leaving the man alone. He could be sure he was not omitting to help a man in need only by going to him.

In this conflict it was ceremonial purity that won the day. Not only did he not help, he went to the other side of the road. He deliberately avoided any possibility of contact. A man from the tribe of Levi then comes upon the man, but he also continues without helping him. The Levite was a descendant of Levi who assisted the priests in various sacrificial duties and policing the temple but could not perform the sacrificial acts.

Rather he was emphasizing that neither the wise and understanding Finally, a Samaritan man arrives and has compassion on the injured Jew. He binds his wounds and treats them with wine and oil. Wine was used for cleaning wounds, due to the alcohol in it, and the oil was used to provide pain relief.

The Samaritan goes even further, though. He places the man on his donkey and carries him to an inn where he can rest and heal. He offers enough money to the innkeeper for the man to be able to stay for several weeks. The fact that Jesus uses a Samaritan as the hero in the parable is shocking to his audience. It is worthwhile to remind the reader of the history between the Jews and Samaritans. The ten northern tribes formed a nation known variously as Israel, Ephraim, or after the capital city built by Omri Samaria.

Samaria fell to the Assyrians, and the leading citizens were exiled and dispersed throughout the Assyrian Empire. Non-Jewish peoples were then brought into Samaria. Jews comes from the term Judea. After the Jews returned from exile in Babylon, the Samaritans sought at first to participate in the rebuilding of the temple. When their offer of assistance was rejected, they sought to impede its building Ezra 4—6; Neh 2—4. The Samaritans later built their own temple on Mount Gerizim, but led by John Hyrcanus the Jews destroyed it in b.

When Jesus finishes the parable, he asks the lawyer who was the true neighbor to the Jew who had been robbed. The message is clear. The command to love our neighbor crosses ethnic, religious, and national boundaries.

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For most Jews a neighbor was another Jew, not a Samaritan or a Gentile. The Pharisees John 7: The teaching of the latter stands in sharp contrast with that of Jesus.

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Jesus commands us to love everyone as we love ourselves, including those whom we consider our enemies. Verses like John They all possess the same attributes of deity. Then how can Jesus say the Father is greater than him? The early church developed the doctrine of functional subordination to clarify the roles of the three members of the Trinity.

All members of the Trinity are equal in essence , but they do not have the same roles. It is a heresy called subordinationism to affirm that there is an ontological subordination of one member of the Trinity to another, since they are identical in essence. The Father, for example, is presented as the Source, Sender, and Planner of salvation.

The Father sent, and the Son came to save us; the Father planned it, but the Son accomplished it on the cross.

This is why it is a heresy called patripassianism to claim that the Father suffered on the cross—only the Son suffered and died. Many Eastern Orthodox theologians are willing to say that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father indirectly through the Son, but they deny that the Son has authority to send the Holy Spirit on His own. Be that as it may, all agree that there is a functional subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Father.

One final word about the nature and duration of this functional subordination in the Godhead. It is not just temporal and economical; it is essential and eternal. For example, the Son is an eternal Son see Prov. His submission to the Father was not just for time but will be for all eternity. Jesus and his disciples have previously left Jerusalem to escape the hostility Jesus was facing there.

Many scholars believe that they are staying in the region of Batanea, which is about one hundred miles northeast of Jerusalem.

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Jesus receives word that his friend, Lazarus, is ill. Lazarus lives with his two sisters, Mary and Martha, in a town called Bethany, which is about two miles east of Jerusalem. Two days later, Jesus announces that he is going back to Judea, the province in which Jerusalem and Bethany are located. His disciples, fearful for his safety, ask him why he is returning. He answers that Lazarus is dead and Jesus wants to go to him.

When Jesus arrives in Bethany, he learns that Lazarus has been dead for four days. The fourth day after death is an important milestone for Jews at this time. After three days, when decomposition had set in, the soul would depart. In other words, there was no question that Lazarus was dead four days after he was buried.

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If it had been one to three days, there would have been some doubt as to whether he was actually deceased. She has presumably seen Jesus heal sick people and she assumes he would have done the same for Lazarus. Jesus tells Martha that her brother will rise again, but she thinks he is referring to the future resurrection of all believers when the messianic kingdom begins. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. What does Jesus mean by saying he is the resurrection and the life? Jesus has repeatedly mentioned resurrection on the last day 5: In this he has been in line with mainstream Judaism.

But these references have also insisted that he alone, under the express sanction of the Father, would raise the dead on the last day. The same truth is now repeated in the pithy claim, I am the resurrection and the life. Just as he not only gives the bread from heaven 6: There is neither resurrection nor eternal life outside of him. Note that as soon as a person believes in Jesus, eternal life begins.

That is why Jesus can refer to a person physically dying, but yet still living. Eternal life does not start after death, but immediately upon believing in Jesus. The person who has eternal life will never experience a permanent death. Martha then returns to her home to get Mary, her sister, and bring her to Jesus. The mourners who are comforting Mary rise and follow them. Apparently Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were wealthy because quite a few people had come from Jerusalem to mourn with Mary and Martha. Mary repeats what Martha had said to Jesus, that Jesus could have healed Lazarus if Jesus had arrived while Lazarus was alive.

This time, however, Jesus reacts to her weeping, and the weeping of the mourners, with indignation and then weeping of his own. Why did Jesus react with anger and indignation, and then weeping? Some think that Jesus is moved by their grief, and is consequently angry with the sin, sickness and death in this fallen world that wreaks so much havoc and generates so much sorrow.

Others think that the anger is directed at the unbelief itself. Profound grief at such bereavement is natural enough; grief that degenerates to despair, that pours out its loss as if there were no resurrection, is an implicit denial of that resurrection. They accept that he can heal, but they do not even consider that he can raise a man from the dead. They do not fully understand that he has been sent by God to conquer sin and death.

Gerald Borchert, in vol. They really missed the point. Jesus arrives at the tomb of Lazarus and instructs the crowd to remove the stone which is covering the entrance to the tomb. Jesus reminds her that because she believes in him, she will see the glory of God. Jesus speaks a short prayer to God the Father, thanking Him for hearing Jesus. The body was so placed on the sheet that the feet were at one end, and then the sheet was drawn over the head and back down to the feet. The feet were bound at the ankles, and the arms were tied to the body with linen strips.

A person so bound could hop and shuffle, but scarcely walk. Therefore when Jesus commanded Lazarus to come forth, and the dead man came out , Jesus promptly gave the order, Take off the grave clothes and let him go. Repeatedly John mentions how this miracle revealed Jesus and led people to believe A threat of execution had already hung over Jesus The priest Caiaphas advised that Jesus must die so that the Romans would not take away the privileges of the Jewish nation However, this critique is ultimately unconvincing.

One of the most transformational (and overlooked) discipleship It's short and punchy and forces readers to answer the questions Introduce people to the riches of the Old Testament with this book that urges readers to choose life or death. Tough Questions – a series of 5 readings in Mark's gospel. Additionally, discipleship is hard to put in a box. Discipleship should continue long after you finish this book. 1 Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, The Trellis and the Vine (Kingsford: NSW, Matthias Media, Answer these questions together and make a commitment .. These verses show us that the Bible is inspired.

If John was aware of the Synoptics as he was writing, which is probable see Bauckham a, esp. On the other hand, if John wrote without knowledge of the Synoptics, then it is likely that at least some of the differences can be attributed to the large amount of material from which he had to choose. This corresponds with what John later writes: In addition, it stands to reason that John had his own theological emphases and unique perception of the significance of the events surrounding Jesus, not to mention his own individuality, style, interests, and distinctive eyewitness recollection from which to draw.

If the raising of Lazarus really did occur, why would the other Gospel authors fail to include it in their biographies? Surely an event of this significance would necessitate inclusion, the critics argue. Why does an event require multiple attestations in the Gospels to be considered historical? Although it is impossible to know for certain why a given author selects or omits particular material in his or her account, one possible reason for the omission of the story of Lazarus in the other Gospels is their focus on Galilee the raising of Lazarus takes place in Judea.

Also, in Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Bauckham , — 87 cites favorably G. There will be a footnote saying that early manuscripts do not contain this verse. How could there be a verse 37 that once existed, but now has been deleted? The first thing to understand is that verse numbers were not assigned to the biblical texts until the year One hundred years earlier, the printing press had been invented, and there was a subsequent explosion in printed copies of the Bible.

These manuscripts from the ninth to twelfth centuries contained the text that was assigned to Acts 8: Here is the reading: As we fast-forward to the twentieth century, archaeologists began discovering much older Greek NT manuscripts dating as far back as the second century. The older documents dated from the second through fourth centuries did not contain the text from Acts 8: So, given the discrepancies between the earlier and later manuscripts, scholars must decide which variant most likely represents the original Book of Acts written in the first century.

The consensus seems to be that the original version did not contain the words from verse In Matthew 20, Jesus confirms that his cousins, James and John, will suffer, and possibly die, for his sake. This raises the question of whether we have any historical documentation about the deaths of James and John. With regard to James, the book of Acts, chapter twelve, actually records his death around the year AD About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.

He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Given that there are several Herods mentioned in the Bible, which Herod killed James? It was he who persecuted the church in Jerusalem and had the apostle James, the brother of John and son of Zebedee, put to death by the sword. By the hand of Herod Agrippa I, James became the first apostle to be martyred. With regard to John, the historical record is less clear. He preached in Jerusalem, and later, as bishop of Ephesus, south of Izmir in western Turkey, worked among the churches of Asia Minor.

He was subsequently freed and died a natural death at Ephesus c AD John likely was assigned to slave labor in the mines of Patmos, so he did indeed suffer greatly. There is also a church tradition which claims that, at one point, John was thrown into a basin of boiling oil. Both brothers, then, suffered greatly for proclaiming the gospel. James was the first apostle to be martyred and John, although he lived several more decades than his brother, was banished to work the mines on the island of Patmos.

During the week before the Passover Feast, the Jewish authorities have been looking for a way to arrest Jesus and they finally find one. Judas goes to the chief priests and offers to help them arrest Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This amount represents about four months of wages for Judas.

Why would Judas offer to betray Jesus? Scripture does not tell us directly, but we can guess. Craig Blomberg, in vol. On Thursday afternoon of the Passion Week, Jesus arranges for himself and the twelve disciples to eat the Passover meal that evening in a large upper room in a private home.

Jesus and his disciples recline on three couches that form a U-shape referred to as a triclinium. The food and wine are in the center of the U. The meal would only start after sundown because Passover begins after sundown. Michael Wilkins, in Matthew, Mark, Luke: Central to the meal were three foods—unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and the Passover offering lamb in temple days —along with the four traditional cups of wine.

During the meal, each of the disciples would dip bitter herbs into a mixture of nuts, fruit, and vinegar to lessen their bitterness. Also, bread would be dipped in sauces. Otherwise, they surely would have confronted him during the meal. In verse 24, Jesus affirms that the betrayal was prophesied in the Old Testament and is thus part of the divine plan. However, the person who actually betrays Jesus is responsible for freely choosing to do so. Judas will be damned because of his betrayal. Presumably, Judas leaves the meal at this point, although Matthew does not report it his departure is reported in John.

Jesus then begins the Passover meal by breaking bread and saying a blessing over it, but he also gives a new command to the disciples: A common loaf would be distributed to all. The unleavened bread originally symbolized the haste with which the Israelites departed from Egypt Exod For additional laws about how to celebrate the feast, see Lev Jesus now invests the bread with new meaning. It foreshadows his body figuratively broken and literally killed in his upcoming death. As frequently elsewhere, Jesus is creating a vivid object lesson.

The bread symbolizes represents, stands for, or points to his crucifixion in some otherwise unspecified sense. During the Passover meal, four cups of wine would be consumed. Each had special significance, according to Michael Wilkins. Just before the third cup of wine was to be passed around, Jesus again gives a new command.

Jesus ties the cup of wine to the blood he will spill on the cross. This blood sacrifice will result in the forgiveness of sins for many people those who accept Jesus. Can you image your life without fear? A new psychology of love, traditional values, and spiritual growth. This book explores this daunting question of true identity.

A new look at stewardship that shows people give to church when we offer them a compelling vision of the good their giving will achieve. A small group study designed to help you look at the sources of stress in your life, ways you currently deal with stress, and finding help and developing skills for reducing stress. Conversation starters, get to know yourself and others better, better formulate personal core values through non-threatening group discussion. Explores the significance of our lives and how the choices we make now will shape our world and lives for eternity. Explores the connection between the amount of noise in our lives and our inability to hear God.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one through understanding how Jesus dealt with this kind of loss. Gaining insight into the meaning of breathing to better understand how God creates us as human beings. Understanding the central claims of the Christian faith by exploring the actual circumstances that surrounded the first people of the Christian movement.

Each book contains six discussions on a given topic.

Powerful Encounters With the Real Jesus. Six discussion topics designed to get groups thinking and interacting with tough questions affecting Christianity. A biblically-based parenting program designed around the Titus 2: Designed to help women discover what God has to say about the stress in their lives and how to find encouragement and insight to stop running nowhere and start walking somewhere with God.

Heartfelt stores and advice from women of faith about the challenges of life and how to live it. A whole-person approach to balanced living for moms that offers a variety of ways to nurture self while effectively caring for family. The author shows that every moment, when collected into a loving human heart, can become a treasure.

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Home Get To Know Us. Serve at Acts 2. Matthew by Van Bogard Dunn Description: Joy in Serving Christ: Achtemeier and Elizabeth Achtemeier Description: Parables of Jesus by J. A look at the matriarchs of scripture. Wingeier and David Lowes Watson Description: A Way of Life by Kenneth C. What on earth are we here for? Learning From Couples in Scripture by R. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas Description: Henry Cloud and Dr. Phil Schroeder Chasing Daylight: You and Your Spiritual Gifts Description: A six session journey on learning to trust God.

Ray Cotton and others Description: Stress by Mary Dell Miles Description: A few thoughts on creativity and suffering. Flame by Rob Bell Description: Explores the meaning of love as God created it to be. Trees by Rob Bell Description: Sunday by Rob Bell Description: Noise by Rob Bell Description: Bullhorn by Rob Bell Description: Rhythm by Rob Bell Description: Matthew by Rob Bell Description: Breathe by Rob Bell Description: You by Rob Bell Description: Open by Rob Bell Description: Understanding prayer through learning how Jesus prayed.

She by Rob Bell Description: Understanding God through female imagery for God. Eyewitness Reports of Jesus Future Shock: Jesus and the End of the World Qty.: What difference does Jesus make? Why become a Christian? How reliable is the Bible? How does anyone know God exists? Do science and the Bible conflict?