The following write-ups are “homework” from a new Timothy Group which began in early December 2016. The format/structure of these write-ups here is an online version of what other members of the group are doing in hard-copy format, using four columns spread over two A4 sheets of paper. Each column corresponds to a different purpose:
- Rewrite the passage, word for word. In my case, I am typing up the entire passage from scratch.
- Paraphrase or re-tell the passage in your own words
- “I Will” / application / What is God showing me?
- Special / specific question assigned for each week
The bible passage for this week is Luke 24:45-49, which continues to explore the Great Commission and Jesus’ strategy for restoring the Kingdom of God. Throughout this series I will be using the New Living Translation version of the bible.
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things.”
“And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here at the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
Jesus helped to make clear the meaning of the Scriptures. He taught them the explicit meaning behind the Psalms and words of the Prophets – that the facts about him as Messiah, Saviour were true and fulfilled. The purpose of Christ’s suffering and resurrection was to provide the authority and platform from which to bring the message of hope and forgiveness to the world. As disciples being direct witnesses to his ministry, life, death and resurrection, that ministry would begin in a Jerusalem and they were to then spread it to the rest of the world.
To help the disciples, God was going to provide the Holy Spirit who would fill and empower each of them. They were first to await His arrival before leaving Jerusalem.
What is God Showing Me?
God helps me to reflect on these other aspects of the Great Commission – that the disciples really needed to understand the simplicity of his message and work. The disciples would have all known the content of the Scriptures that had been handed down via oral memorization and retelling, but only with God’s direct help, were they able to connect the dots.
God’s first instruction within the vision of the Great Commission was simply to await the arrival of the Holy Spirit, who would provide the necessary empowerment from heaven/God.
Who is the audience and what is the impact on the community?
In a similar way to the previous passages, the audience was the original disciples; the first individuals that knew Jesus directly and witnessed his death and resurrection. By virtue of the nature of the Great Commission commandment, where the original disciples were to go forth and make more disciples, the audience is thus expanded to the growing body of believers who are baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The secondary audience is therefore to all of us believers today who profess Jesus as the Messiah; the Good News and hope of the world. The audience is also to future believers who are yet to become disciples.
The impact and implication for society and our community from this passage is to be obedient to Christ. When we seek Him and read the Word of God, asking God to help open our eyes to the deeper meaning of the Scriptures is a first step. Before we rush off to fulfil what we hear and are instructed by God, make sure the action first starts with God’s empowerment by the Holy Spirit.