Faith Is Being Certain of What We Do Not See
These are the readings for the Second Sunday of Easter.
God’s Word for This Week
Our faith is based on the firmest possible ground: Jesus, our risen Lord. We cannot see him. We cannot touch him. We have not yet experienced the joy that will be ours forever. We come to know and trust in him as our Savior only through the precious gospel that is revealed to us in the words of Scripture.
TRADITIONAL FIRST LESSON – Acts 3:12-20
Peter here is responding to the crowds after healing a crippled beggar in the temple. According to verse 16, why was the man healed?
The man was healed “by faith in the name of Jesus.” Through faith in Peter’s words and Jesus’ promises, the crippled beggar received salvation and the added blessing of healing.
What does Peter encourage the people to do in verse 19?
Peter is speaking to the Jews who had only a short time before allowed and even asked for the crucifixion of Jesus. Peter tells them that forgiveness is found in Jesus Christ alone. He encourages them to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus their Savior.
SUPPLEMENTAL FIRST LESSON – Acts 26:19-29
Before which two rulers was Paul testifying?
Paul was testifying before Agrippa and Festus.
In what two ways did Paul describe his teaching about the resurrection, after Festus told Paul that he was insane?
Paul said his teaching was “true and reasonable.”
Isn’t the resurrection of all believers unreasonable? Explain.
The resurrection of all believers on the Last Day might seem unreasonable (how can a dead person come back alive, bodily?). Still, if a) God is all-powerful, if b) Jesus rose from the dead, and if c) Jesus promises to raise us too, we would be “insane” not to believe in our bodily resurrection.
TRADITIONAL SECOND LESSON – 1 John 5:1-6
According to verses 2 and 3, now that we believe in Jesus as our Savior, what does that faith lead us to do?
Faith leads us to love God and obey his commandments.
What does Paul mean in verse 6 when he says that Jesus came by water and blood?
Water is a reference to Jesus’ baptism, and blood is a reference to his sacrificial death on the cross. John wrote this letter as a reaction to those who were teaching that Jesus was not true God, but only true man. They were teaching that God somehow descended upon Jesus after his baptism and left him before he died. John tells us that Jesus is God’s eternal Son made man. As true God and true man, Jesus lived, suffered, and died for our sins.
SUPPLEMENTAL SECOND LESSON – 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
What were some people in Corinth falsely claiming?
Some in Corinth were falsely claiming that there was no resurrection and there will be none on the Last Day either.
Why was that claim disastrous?
That claim was disastrous because if there is no resurrection, then Christ was not raised from the dead either. And if Christ has not been raised from the dead, a) the apostles’ preaching about Christ was useless, and b) so is our trust in Christ.
GOSPEL – John 20:19-31
Why are Jesus’ words in verse 29 so important for us as Christians today?
Jesus’ words are so important for us because, unlike those first disciples, we did not have the opportunity to see Jesus in the flesh and witness his saving work. Even though we have not seen him, we have God’s promise that we will receive the same blessing of eternal life through trusting in him.
Why did John write the words of his gospel?
John did not record every last detail of Jesus’ life in his gospel. He wrote what he wrote so that we might believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world. Through faith in Jesus we, as those first disciples, will receive God’s eternal blessings in glory.