Week 2

  1. Genesis 16-27
    1. Genesis 16 – Abram makes a mistake.  What kind of temptation does this represent?  How does this sound like Genesis 3?  Notice how God works with all of his faithful as his plans unfold.  They are not merely means to an end, but every one of them has the privilege of knowing God, and he works in their lives for their personal blessing and His glory.    
    2. Genesis 17 – Abram and Sarai are renamed, and the promises reiterated.  A covenant is made and circumcision is prescribed as a sign of that covenant. 
    3. Genesis 18 – A heavenly visit – possibly a Christophany?  Abram intercedes for Sodom and learns a lesson.  18:20 – there was an outcry – from whom?  See 2 Peter 2:7.  How do we define righteous?  See Genesis 15:6.
    4. Genesis 19 – the wickedness of the city is extreme.  How does God judge nations?  Think about Babel – is there something about cities?  Are they representative of human rebellion?  How did Jesus’ countryside ministry compare to his trips to Jerusalem?  Lot’s descendants are the Moabites and the Ammonites. 
    5. Genesis 20 – Chapters 12, 20, and 26 are strangely similar.  Notice the ups and downs of the lives of God’s people.  Do you notice a pattern?  What does this say about God?  What does it say about me?
    6. Genesis 21 – Finally Isaac is born.  God takes care of Ishmael who gives rise to the Arabic people, among others.  Abraham is growing in his character.
    7. Genesis 22 – A critical chapter that foreshadows Christ.  How are the following details important:  Who carried the wood?  Who offered whom?  How many days were mentioned?  Where did this happen?  (2 Chronicles 3:1)  Who were the only ones who went up the hill?  Does a ram caught in a thicket by his horns remind you of anything?  Notice Genesis 22:8 in particular! 
    8. Genesis 23 – Sarah dies, and Abraham buys a family plot for burial.  How is this a display of faith in the promises of God. Are you investing in the promises of God? 
    9. Genesis 24 – Continued from Genesis 22, The Father now sends and unnamed servant into the land of his Son’s heritage to find him a bride.  He gives gifts, and asks her to leave with urgency.  She was recognized by her service and her willingness to leave her old family for a new one.  Are you responding to the Spirit’s call to the son?
    10. Genesis 25 – Esau and Jacob.  See Romans 9:10-13.  It’s God’s choice, and yet Esau clearly doesn’t value his birthright.  Once again, God’s chosen are not perfect, but notice Jacob’s evolution through chapter 33.  Two things we see as God works through his people:  He improves their character, and he increases their faith.  Are those two things almost the same? 
  2. Psalms
    1. As you read the Psalms, take time to pause and pray.  Sometimes just express to God praises.  dsss
    2. Psalm 148:  See Romans 1:18-20.  All creation praises God.  Look for it.  How will you pray this Psalm. 
    3. Psalm 1:  What a contrast!  Look for details. 
    4. Psalm 107:  What great truths and promises do you find in this Psalm?  For the people of Israel, their promises were temporal, centered around their life in the promised land.  For the Church, the primary blessings are spiritual (Ephesians 1:33) so how do we understand these blessings in the New Covenant?
    5. Psalm 4:  How is Psalm 4:2-3 relevant today? 
  3. Mark 6-10
    1. Themes we explored last time:
      1. Authority and power:  
        1. Authority – That Jesus has been granted a position of authority over
          1. people – calling disciples, teaching as one with authority, being Lord of the Sabbath
          1. nature – walking on water, calming the storm
          1. demons – casting them out
        1. Power – That Jesus has power at his command over all the same things. 
      2. The purpose of miracles – Mark 2:3-12.
        1. The purpose of miracles is to display his authority through his power.  Mark 2:10
        1. Two statements, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic…
          1. “Your sins are forgiven” – the authority of God (See Mark 2:7), or
          1. “Rise, take up your bed and walk” – the power of God.
      3. The purpose of parables – Mark 4
    2. Possible outline for Mark (from JB):
      1. Mark 1:1-1:15, Introduction;
      2. Mark 1:16-6:6, The Kingdom and Messiah revealed in Galilee;
      3. Mark 6:7-8:26, The Kingdom and Messiah revealed beyond Galilee;
      4. Mark 8:27-10:52, The identity of Jesus, his future, and the Kingdom to come;
      5. Mark 11-13, The Christ and the Kingdom revealed in opposition
      6. Mark 14-16, The arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus (Chapters 14-16)
    3. Note the connection of spiritual and physical blindness and healing
      1. Mark 4:11-12 – to you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God
      2. Mark 4:41 – the disciples ask a question
      3. Mark 8:29 – Peter partially answers that question, but shows he is still partially blind
      4. Mark 8:22-26 – this healing illustrates their process
      5. Mark 9:2-13 – then they learn more about who Jesus is
      6. Mark 10:46-52 – Jesus heals another blind man, who then follows him, showing the response to being healed of spiritual blindness
    4. The Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Heaven:  Note that a kingdom is defined as its ruler and his loyal people – not simply a geographic distinction.  So the Kingdom of God here and now consists of those loyal to the true King. This explains why it is both here and coming – Jesus’ subjects are here, and he rules from heaven, but he shall return and fully establish his kingdom here.  Revelation 11:15 
    5. Details of the text
      1. Chapter 6 – sending out the Twelve, John the Baptist, feeding 5,000, walking on water, healing.
      2. Chapter 7 – traditions versus commandments – what is true religion?  what is the real problem we have?  See how a Syrophoenician woman illustrates true faith? 
      3. Chapter 8 – feeding 4,000, the leaven of the Pharisees, note on 8:11-13: ‘generation’ may refer to a family of people, the two-touch healing, the confession of Peter, the rebuke of Peter, the costs of discipleship.
      4. Chapter 9 – the transfiguration, the casting out of an unclean spirit – verse 24 contains an amazing prayer, a second prediction of his own death, an argument leads to teaching how the kingdom is entered, what entering the kingdom is worth. 
      5. Chapter 10 – the teaching on divorce – not intended to condemn, but illustrate the depth of our problems, the children given as an example of how to enter the Kingdom, some barriers to entering the Kingdom, the third prediction of his death, teaching about true servant-leadership, healing another blind man.
    6. Applications: How is the Kingdom of God different from the kingdoms of men?  How is it entered?  How are its people ranked?  What barriers exist to entering the kingdom? 

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