The Risen One Promises Us Unique Peace
These are the readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter.
God’s Word for This Week
In today’s lessons we hear about peace between us and God. How can rebels find peace with their holy Lord and judge? Not at all by their deserving it, but by his declaring it. God’s peace is so profound and his willingness to receive us as his children so sincere that Jesus even assures us that he and his Father will come to us and make their home within us.
Traditional First Lesson – Acts 14:8-18
Two miracles occurred in Lystra. One was clear to all, and the other was observable to Paul. What were the two miracles?
The obvious miracle was the physical healing of the crippled man. At the command of Paul, he jumped up and began to walk. The other miracle was what occurred first. The Holy Spirit worked a profound change in this man’s heart. Paul shared the gospel and then saw this man had faith to be healed.
What was the crowd’s response to the apostles’ message?
The crowds wanted to sacrifice to them. Paul and Barnabas told the people listening they were mere men. They pointed the people to Christ. Yet, the people of Lystra had difficulty accepting the apostles’ explanation. They had convinced themselves that Paul and Barnabas were gods.
Supplemental First Lesson – 2 Kings 6:15-17
Why didn’t Elisha’s servant have peace?
Elisha’s servant had no peace one morning when he awoke to discover the city of Dothan, where he and Elisha had spent the night, surrounded by an army of horses and chariots sent to capture Elisha.
The army had come to capture Elisha. What was ironic about the way Elisha’s servant reacted compared to the way Elisha reacted?
The irony was that Elisha was the one the army wanted; he was not afraid. The army was not after Elisha’s servant, yet he was afraid. (How often we are like that servant, fearfully lacking peace for the wrong reasons.)
According to this story, what is one reason God’s servants can have true peace?
God’s servants can have his true peace because no matter what army threatens and surrounds us, many more holy angels surround us. The fast, fiery angels on our side far outnumber our enemies.
Traditional Second Lesson – Revelation 21:10-14, 22, 23
Some people are waiting for the New Jerusalem to be built on earth. Is John describing this when he gives such exact details of the Holy City?
Although the details are exact, John is not describing an earthly city. He is describing heaven which God the Father is preparing for us. The detailed description with the beautiful symmetry is highly figurative. It is meant to paint a picture of the safety, beauty, and perfection of heaven.
How does John describe being in God’s presence?
When we join the saints in heaven, we will bask in the never-ending light of God’s glory. The glorious love God showed sinners by sending his Son will illumine us forever. What we receive now intermittently through Word and Sacrament we will enjoy eternally in heaven.
Supplemental Second Lesson – Revelation 3:14-22
As he wrote to a lukewarm, self-satisfied congregation and their pastor, how did Jesus describe himself?
Jesus described himself as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.” What peace we can have, knowing that he will keep his word and that he rules over all things! How we should fear to disregard his Word!
Does our peace consist in knowing that Jesus is harmless and cuddly?
Our peace does not consist in Jesus being harmless and cuddly. Jesus is our best friend. Since he is, he rebukes and disciplines all he loves. He insists we get serious and repent.
Gospel – John 14:23-29
How will the triune God make his home with believers?
The triune God makes his home with believers through the Word. The Spirit, sent from God, works through the Word. Believers demonstrate that God is dwelling in them by being faithful to God’s Word and putting that Word into practice in their lives.
What is the “peace” that Jesus gives?
The peace Jesus gives differs from what the world gives. The world’s peace consists of words and feelings with no eternal value. Jesus gives us the peace he won for all mankind. This peace makes us at one with God. It calms a troubled heart and a guilty conscience. Jesus gives us a peace where we can find true rest, now and forever, for we have no more war with our Maker.