The Risen One Inspires Us
These are the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.
God’s Word for This Week
Music from the Masters . . . motivational speakers . . . Chicken Soup for the Soul—people look for a boost from many sources. But one need only look to the risen Savior. He inspires us not through soothing songs or moving stories but through his perfect life and sacrificial death. Our risen Lord energizes us to live lives of love.
Traditional First Lesson – Acts 13:44-52
Why were the Jews filled with jealousy?
The Jews saw the large crowds gathered to hear the word of the Lord. They saw the crowd’s devotion to the gospel of salvation through Jesus rather than through the Law of Moses.
How does this event fulfill the Lord’s command to bring salvation to the ends of the earth?
Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel first to the Jews. When the Jews rejected the message, Paul and Barnabas preached to the Gentiles. The gospel is too wonderful to be confined to one nation. The Risen One inspires us also to take the gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth.
Supplemental First Lesson – 1 Samuel 20:12-17
In this account, which two friends were knit together in a tight bond of love?
Jonathan and David were knit together in a tight bond of love (as dear friends, not in a sexual way).
In this account, what name does Jonathan say in each verse in which he speaks? Why is this notable?
Jonathan keeps talking about “the LORD,” the God of free and faithful grace. Due to the Lord, Jonathan has such care for David, whom the LORD had picked to take over Israel’s throne after the death of Jonathan’s father, Saul. Instead of envying David—as most men in line for a throne would have—Jonathan loved David for the Lord’s sake.
What did Jonathan ask David to show toward him when David took over Saul’s throne in years to come?
Jonathan asked David to show the mercy of the Lord toward him and his family.
Traditional Second Lesson – Revelation 21:1-6
In his vision, John saw a new heaven and a new earth. When will this new heaven and earth appear?
John was given a preview of the new home God the Father is preparing for his people in heaven. This new home will appear on the Last Day. How comforting it is to know the glories of heaven that await us.
What will our new life be like when we live with God eternally in heaven?
Since it is impossible to describe the perfection of heaven in human terms, John tells us what we will not see in heaven. There will be no death, mourning, crying, or pain.
Supplemental Second Lesson – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Is love more emotion or action, according to God?
Love is more action than emotion, Paul shows. Love is being patient and kind to others. The Corinthian Christians seem to have been hung up on having the most excellent gifts from God, but love is the most excellent way to use whatever gifts God has given. (See 12:31.)
How can you tell whether love is real love? (See 13:8a.)
Love is real love if it does not quit during hard days. “Love never fails,” Paul says. Shakespeare similarly says, “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”
In what way is love greater than faith or hope?
Faith and hope will cease in eternity, but love lasts forever.
Gospel – John 13:31-35
Jesus spoke these words shortly after Judas left the upper room on the night he was betrayed. How then would Jesus be glorified?
Judas’ betrayal began the chain of events that led to Jesus glorification. Jesus glorification included his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Through these actions of Christ, we can see God’s glory and give God glory. Through these same actions, God gives all glory to his Son.
Why is Jesus command to “love one another” a new command?
Jesus’ command to love is not new. What is new is our motive for loving one another. The disciples will love because they know Jesus and what he has done for them. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the forgiveness it brings changes believers’ hearts. In Christ we want to love, to sacrifice for others.