Acts: Lesson 1, Day 2

Day 2 Scripture: Acts 1:1–4; Luke 24:25–27, 36–53.

Acts 1: 1-4 is Luke’s opening of his 2nd letter to Theopholis,.  In this he continues to explain Jesus work, now in a post resurrection time.  In these first versus he records the emphasis that Jesus placed on the gift of the Holy Spirit that was to come and embody the Apostles.  It is noted that this is not a new concept, but something that Jesus had spoken about many times that it would be given.

Luke 24 recounts the events of the 2 apostles on the road to Emmaus who meet with the risen Christ.

3. a. After Jesus’ resurrection, how did He teach His disciples and prepare them for their work? Give verses.

Acts 1:2 – Gave instructions through the Holy Spirt

Acts 1:3 – He showed Himself.  He gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.  He appeard over a period of 40 days.  He spoke abou the kingdom of God

Acts 1:4 – He ate.

Acts 1:4 – He commanded the apostles to not leave Jerusalem but to wait for “the gift” (Holy Spirit).

Luke 24:25 – He called them “foolish” and “slow”

Luke 24:27 – He explained what was said in scripture concerning himself

Luke 24:36 – He stood among them and blessed them

Luke 24:37-39 – He calmed their fears and allowed them to see and touch his hands and feet.

Luke 24: 43-43 – He ate

Luke 24:44, 46, 47 – He reminded them of his words and the scriptures

Luke 24: 45 – He opend their minds

Luke 24:48 – He called them to be witnesses

b. How are we taught and prepared in the same way today?

We are convicted of our own foolishness and slowness of heart through the spirit, while at the same time receiving the strength to change, grow and witness to others.  We participate, physically, with Christ through communion.  We have all scriptures, including all the prophets and the complete canon that teaches us everything about our Lord.  The spirit opens our minds and hearts to hear His words and bring Him into our heart.  We are called to witness.

c. Tell your group how you have personally been taught by Jesus in this way.

BSF has been a personal venue to these aspects continuing in my life.  I am surrounded by other men who love the lord and I learn from them and the way the spirit is moving in their lives.  I delve deeper into the words of scripture than I would on my own.  I’m challenged in the lectures with the application questions to my own foolishness and slowness of heart.  I pray on my knees with other leaders and can feel the spirit moving among us.  I am blessed to have men bring their children to my class so that I can witness to them (and them to me!)

4. List the “convincing proofs” of Jesus’ bodily resurrection mentioned in Luke 24 and John 20:19–29; 21:1–14.

He appeared, he spoke, he ate, he allowed them to see his hands and feet and the nail holes, he allowed them to touch, he spoke the same words, he taught them (putting the pieces they already knew together), He came to them behind locked doors, He breathed on them, He allayed their doubts with physical proof, He appeared on the shore (i.e., in multiple places at different times of the day, behind closed doors and out in the open), he cooked food, he demonstrated his control over nature (153 fish), he served them.

5. (Challenge) Why do you think Jesus waited with the disciples forty days after His resurrection before going to heaven?

First of all, I think it is important to remind ourselves that he simply did spend 40 days.  There are very few parts of the bible (with the exception of John 3:16) that clearly explain “why” God does something and it is important to not fall into some symbolism or numerology trail off the main path to find some mystically revelation about “why.”  It says he spent 40 days because, simply put – those are the facts, Jack.

Having said that, throughout the bible 40 is a number that comes up over and over again in situations of “completeness.”

Gen 7 – The length of the flood was 40 days, to cleanse the earth

Gen 50:3 – 40 days is the length of time required to properly prepare (embalming) Jacob’s body after death for the trip from Egypt to Israel.

Ex 16 – 40 years of manna in the desert

Ex 24:18 and 34:28 – Moses spent 40 days on the mountain to receive the law

Num 13:25 – The Israelites spent 40 days investigating the promised land before returning with a report

2 Sam 5:4 – David reigned as king for 40 years

1Kings 11:42 – Solomon reigned in Jerusalem for 40 years

1 Kings 19 – 40 days is the length of Elijah’s travel to reach the mountain of God

Jon 3:4 – Jonah’s warning to the Ninevites: “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned.” (sufficient time for repentance)

Mat 4:2, Mar 1:13, Luke 4:2 – Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert at the beginning of his ministry on earth.

Conclusion:

Our first lesson in the BSF study of the book of Acts helps set the foundation for the cornerstone of not only our study but of how Luke writes.  Dr. Luke and Joe Friday would have gotten along well because both have an emphasis on, “just the facts.”  (and with that reference I just lost everyone under the age of 40).

We are given a preponderance evidence, well documented and complete, demonstrating Christ’s life, death and His resurrection in fulfillment of all the scriptures.  We are then clearly told what to do with those facts: Witness.

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