Jesus Calls Us To Follow Him
These are the readings for the Second Sunday in Lent.
God’s Word for This Week
To follow Jesus, we must carry our cross. This means our faith will bring us severe burdens and shame. But through Jesus’ cross, we have such good news: Heaven is open! We can rejoice in our sufferings! By losing our lives for Jesus, we will find them!
FIRST LESSON – Genesis 28:10-17
Whom did Jacob see on the stairway? Above it?
God’s holy angels were going up and down the stairway. The Lord God himself was at the top of the stairway.
What promises did Jacob receive, which include you?
Promises: a) God is the God of all believers, both dead (Abraham) and alive (Isaac and Jacob). Even dead believers are alive with God! b) With all people on earth, we are blessed in Jesus with a holy Savior. c) God will keep all his promises to us, for Jesus’ sake.
SECOND LESSON – Romans 5:1-11
What amazing gifts do we receive by trusting that Jesus died for our sins? (See 5:1,2.)
By trusting that Jesus died for our sins, we stand innocent before God in his court. We have peace toward God. We have entrance into God’s grace. We rejoice because we are sure that we will share glory with God forever.
Why do we rejoice in our sufferings? Isn’t that a bizarre way to act? (See 5:3.)
It might surprise the rest of the world but rejoicing in our sufferings fits with faith in God’s promises. We know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces proven character, and proven character produces confident hope of eternal life.
In Christ, what three things are no longer true about us? (See 5:6,8,10.)
We were powerless; we were sinners; we were God’s enemies. Relying on Jesus’ blood, we are none of those things anymore in God’s sight. We have God’s strength. We are holy in God’s sight. We are God’s friends.
GOSPEL – Mark 8:31-38
Why did Jesus have to suffer and die? (See 8:31.)
Jesus had to die because he had said so. God the Father told him so. God the Spirit said so in the Old Testament in many places. There was no other way we could have eternal life. “For the joy set before him” Jesus endured the cross and scorned its shame (Hebrews 12:2). His joy was seeing us sinners receive the gift of eternal life.
When Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!” he didn’t mean Satan had taken total control of him and made Peter helpless. What did Jesus mean?
Jesus meant that for Peter to try to keep Jesus from dying for us was satanic. If Jesus hadn’t died for us, we would all have spent eternity with the devil in hell.
Why is trying to become rich apart from God such a poor choice?
Even if we gain the whole world, it won’t do us any good if we lose our souls and end up in eternal fire, body and soul.