Jesus is Revealed by His Gospel Call
These are the readings for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany.
God’s Word for This Week
How is Jesus revealed to the sinful people of this world? Not by threats. God is serious about his “Do’s” and “Don’ts,” but he does not force people to be Christians. Instead, Jesus is revealed to blind sinners by the call of the gospel, God’s word of forgiveness. The Holy Spirit shows us our sin, then calls out “Jesus died for you” in God’s Word and sacraments. He changes unbelievers into believers who want to live for God.
First Lesson – 1 Samuel 3:1-10
Who did Samuel think was calling him?
Samuel thought Eli was calling him.
Who was really calling Samuel?
The Lord was calling Samuel.
What model attitude does Samuel display for Christians?
Samuel displays a humble willingness to hear the Word of the Lord. Today, too—only through the gospel does the Holy Spirit awaken and strengthen faith.
Second Lesson – 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
True or false: Christ has freed us from the law.
True. The law is no longer the determining factor for our conduct as Christians. Christians are motivated by the gospel to love God and love one another.
How were some Corinthians abusing their freedom from the law?
Some Corinthians were abusing their Christian freedom to justify sins of the flesh, including sexual immorality.
Why do Christians honor God with their bodies?
Christians do not belong to themselves; Christ has bought us by shedding his blood, rising again, and calling us to faith in him. We no longer live to please ourselves, but him. Our motivation for living Christian lives comes from the gospel, not the law.
Supplemental Second Lesson – 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
Paul has just warned us about believing the lie that our good works can save us from hell. Now he changes topics. Who gets the credit for saving us?
God gets the credit. God gets all the credit. From the beginning, he chose us to be saved through trusting in Jesus as our Savior. We didn’t decide to become believers. We could not have.
Why did God call us to believe in the truth?
God called us to believe in the truth so that we would share forever in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
True or false? As long as we trust that Jesus died for us, it doesn’t matter if we believe a few lies.
False: Paul urged the Thessalonians to stand firm and hold onto the teachings he had given them face to face and had written to them. We must hold onto all the teachings of the Word of God. We must hold onto what we have learned from the Bible via trustworthy parents, pastors, and teachers. The result? We will get eternal encouragement, good hope, and strength to serve God and our neighbor in whatever callings God has placed us.
Gospel – John 1:43-51
What did Philip do when Jesus commanded: “Follow me?”
Not only did Philip follow Jesus, but he went and told his friend Nathanael also.
How did Nathanael react to Philip’s news?
Nathanael could not believe that the Savior would come from such an insignificant place as Nazareth.
When Nathanael met Jesus, how did he react?
After Nathanael met Jesus, he trusted wholeheartedly that Jesus was the Messiah, the Chosen One.
What now unites heaven and earth like a stairway?
Something more amazing than the stairway Jacob once saw in a dream (Genesis 28) now unites heaven and earth. Jesus is the mediator between God and all sinners. He opens heaven to all believers. Trust only in him.