We started Peter’s sermon last week on Pentecost Sunday. Today we get to the “good sfuff” of the first Christian sermon and the beginning of the New Testament Church.
Jesus appeared to many, in crowds large and small, for 40 days after his resurrection. Ascension Day is 40 days after Easter and Jesus commanded his followers one final time to wait in Jerusalem for the promise. Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter Sunday. I may have contributed to some confusion lately and wanted to clear that up. What happened is more important than when it happened so here we go…
We read God’s Word and seek to know his will so that we can be found in God’s will. To think that any of us individually is responsible for bringing about God’s will or can interfere with his plans taking place makes too much of one’s self and does not give God enough credit.
We are two weeks from Pentecost and continue to study the time Jesus spent with his followers between his resurrection and ascension. Join us in Acts 1 as consider promises made, promises fulfilled and the promise we wait for today.
Perhaps an unusual text for Mother’s Day but we will do the same thing we do every week, and that’s read God’s Word and let it speak to us. Elizabeth and Mary are two characters that play a pivotal role in the Bible narrative. They are also the mothers of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. As we honor mothers today the application of the text applies to everyone everywhere. Hear and believe the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul reminds us to keep the most important thing most important.
Jesus joined two disciples on the road to the village of Emmaus but they did not know it was Jesus. They told him everything they knew about the events in Jerusalem that week, then Jesus told them everything he knew about what Moses and the Prophets said about him. Anyone can read the Bible and understand some of it. True understanding of God’s Word only comes from God himself.
We are naturally skeptical and that is probably to our benefit. We have to process information before deciding what to believe and what to dismiss. Faith and belief are related but not necessarily the same thing. When Jesus’s disciples saw him after the resurrection they had trouble fully believing even though they really wanted to. It is not wrong to admit that we struggle. It is never wrong to confess that we are having trouble and ask God for help, and that includes matters of faith and belief. It is never wrong to ask God for more faith.
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. –Matthew 28:8 NKJV
They were filled with fear and great joy. Being afraid did not cancel out the joy of hearing that Jesus had risen as he said. We can have peace in a world that does not know peace. We can rejoice in tribulation, we can praise him in the storm. That has always been the message of Easter morning. The tomb is empty. Death, hell and the grave have been defeated.
Palm Sunday, one week before Easter, is when we remember Jesus entering Jerusalem as crowds of people waved palm branches and shouted Hosanna! During Holy Week, or Passion Week, Jesus divided his time between public appearances and time alone teaching his disciples. The parable of the wicked tenants is one of his public sermons in which he address the leaders of Israel and spoke to his followers about what was about to happen; not directly but in the language of analogy.