Fifth Sunday of Easter

Our Hope Is Built on Christ

These are the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.
(This Worship Help aligns with the lectionary readings from Christian Worship 1993 and Christian Worship: Supplement.)

God’s Word for This Week

The creative, sustaining Word of Christ brings people into fellowship with the one true God. Christ, the “living Stone,” builds up his people like living stones into a spiritual house. Such people of “noble character” now search the truth of God’s Word receiving from it every spiritual blessing.

Traditional First Lesson – Acts 17:1-12

Why was it important for Paul to show the Jews in the synagogues that Christ had to suffer? (See 17:3.)

The idea of a suffering Messiah was a stumbling block to the Jews, and so it was important to show that he must suffer.

For what activity should we remember the Berean Jews?

They took their Bibles seriously. Each day they would test the message of Paul by comparing it with the Scriptures.

Supplemental First Lesson – 1 Kings 18:16-45

What insights do you gain from this account regarding Jesus as the only way to heaven?

Ahab and Jezebel had institutionalized idolatry and persecution on a national scale. To people worshiping a false god of the storm, God sent his prophet to announce his judgment: There would be no rain. After three years of drought, famine crippled the kingdom. Against that backdrop, God sent Elijah to a showdown with Ahab and his false prophets. No matter their outward show of power or prestige, 450 prophets and the might of royalty could not change the spiritual reality that there is one way, one truth, one life. Even today, a whole world of false teachers and TV biblical scholars cannot change the spiritual reality that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Second Lesson – 1 Peter 2:4-10

What description does Peter give of all who are joined to Christ by faith?

He describes them as living stones being built into a spiritual house. Believers are like a temple in which God dwells and where living sacrifices are continually being offered to him.

According to Peter, to what purpose did God call us, his own people, out of darkness? (See 2:9.)

God called us to declare his praises, that is, to tell the whole world what he has done for us through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Gospel – John 14:1-12

Why was Jesus’ departure not a source of sorrow but a reason for rejoicing?

He was leaving in order to prepare for them a place in his Father’s house. And, he added, he would return and take them to the place he had prepared. There they would all be together again!

Must we wait for eternal life to be united with Jesus?

In John 14:23, Jesus stated that he and the Father will come to us and make their home with us. Thus the mystic union is a reality already in this life.

What is the comfort of knowing that a place in heaven exists with our name on it?

Things in this life come and go, they change, they see decay. But our God is our one constant in our lives. What comfort to know that beyond this ever-changing world, we have a place prepared for us by Christ in heaven.

Jesus calls himself “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” What is the significance of the three definite articles?

It clearly points out that Jesus is the only way to heaven. He is the world’s one and only Savior (Luke 2:32). Only through Christ our Savior do we ever come to the Father.

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