As you read through Luke, what has been one new thing you have learned about Jesus?
What does the name of Jesus mean to you?
Read Acts 3:1-10. What does the crippled man ask for? How does Peter respond? How does Jesus work in this situation?
What do you think the name of Jesus means for the disabled man after he is healed?
Read Acts 4:1-14. How do the leaders of the temple respond to the healing? Why do you think they are so upset?
What does Peter say in response? What does it look like for you to trust in the name of Jesus only?
How can you use this story to encourage someone this week?
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Rhoda and all her Christian friends are praying for Peter. He is imprisoned by a murderous Herod, and suddenly he is miraculously freed from prison. He then goes to his praying friend’s house, knocks on the door, and yells, “Let me in, guys!” Rhoda hears Peter’s voice and thinks it’s a ghost and runs inside. Answer the door, Rhoda.
Peter is sleeping, but then he gets a vision from the Lord. Bacon, lobster, and Christmas ham: Oh my! The Lord looks at Peter and says not to call dirty what the He has made clean. The Lord has made all food good for Peter to eat. But when Peter meets a Roman general, he realizes it’s not about the bacon.
Saul sees his job as one of purity. He is trying to hunt down this new strand of idolatry, those followers of Jesus (this so called “The Way”) and imprison them. His job is done so well that those in “The Way” have left Jerusalem and have begun spreading to the ends of the earth. But his job is not done yet; he chases them to Damascus to imprison them. However, as he is pursuing purity, he discovers that their spreading has already happened.
The story of Stephen in Acts is remarkable. He’s a man who comes to prominence when the disciples needed help with the dishes. This man was a thorn of discomfort to the religious leaders of the temple, and they began to rile up the crowds against him saying Stephen wanted to destroy the temple. He then tells the story of God’s people saying that it has always been about letting go.
Outside the temple there was a gate called Beautiful. This gate was a sign post as to how the kingdom of God was here with the people, and that kingdom was making everything beautiful. However, outside this beautiful gate is a disabled beggar asking for change. This gate is hardly living up to the expectation of its name, but then Peter comes by and gives this beggar life and beauty in a name that is above every name.
The Spirit of God comes like a wind, and all these people begin to speak in other languages and perform other wild acts. The people around are all amazed, and some say that all these people must be day drinking to act so weird. But they were not drunk; they were just acting in love of God our Father.
Jesus is alive! He has been hanging out and teaching the disciples for 40 days now and they ask him a question. Jesus we have seen what you can do the power you have, when will you restore the kingdom to Israel. Jesus then looks at them, quotes Isaiah and says you will be…… and disappears into God’s presence.
How will you recognize Jesus? Now really think about that question because no one recognized Jesus after He rises from the dead. It seems those who recognize him throughout Luke’s gospel are all doing the same thing: eating with Him.
You were created, but you were not just as a sack of unfeeling chemicals. You were created as a great work of art. But what if the world does not seem like a great work of art? What if I think my life is just a dark mess? I imagine that's what the women carrying embalming spices to Jesus’ grave thought. However, what they saw that morning changed how they saw the world and changed how they saw themselves. Christ is risen, they saw the Art of Life.