Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Monday, March 4, 2024

Bible Study for March 10, 2024

Hi everyone,

This Sunday's scriptures bring two very well known visuals: the "John 3:16" verse from football games and the "Rod of Asclepus" we often see as a symbol of medical practice!  We are indeed healed through God's love.  The Holy Spirit, poured out in baptism, lifts us up together with Christ into new life.  God loves the world and, giving us that gift of love, enables us also to love others with our good works.


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Pastor Tim

"God has led you to the desert, and spoken to your Heart."
Mount of Olives Lutheran Church
3546 E. Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85018
602-956-1620 office

Bible Study for March 10, 2024  

Opening Prayer:

Creator of all, we thank you for the opportunity to gather in study. Open our minds and hearts. By the power of the Holy Spirit, unite us in faith, hope, and love. Help us to be faithful to the gospel and to walk humbly with you. Grant us your peace as we grow in wisdom and understanding. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

John 3:14-21 How do we gain spiritual vision in order to see the things of God?

This passage must be understood not only as Jesus’ statement but also as a confession of faith for John and his community. Like the writer of Ephesians, John also faced new situations and provided his community with new interpretations of Jesus’ death and resurrection. John proclaimed that Jesus’ appearance had drastically altered the world. Now there could only be new believers that had new life from above and unbelievers who were spiritually dead. Jesus’ appearance in the world had given life to those who believed. But his appearance, according to their perspective, also had become a judgment on those who did not. There was no middle ground. 

Numbers 21:4-9 When have you wandered in a wilderness (felt forlorn and deserted)? Did you complain? How was God present to you? How did you ultimately respond?

Numbers tells the story of a generational transition. It begins with the Exodus generation of Hebrews in the Sinai wilderness. Freed from bondage, they are on a forty-year journey, having been transformed from slaves to nomadic tribes. Near the end of their wandering, when most of the Exodus generation had died, a new generation has replaced them who were casting envious eyes on the lush lands of Canaan. They sacked the towns, and credit for the victory was ascribed to God, who now had become a war god in their eyes similar to the gods of other peoples in the region. The belief was that victory went to the tribe with the mightiest god. The remaining member continued grumbling, and though God sent serpents, the fashioned bronze serpent became a symbol of healing and salvation for the people. 

Ephesians 2:1-10 What does God’s grace (unmerited favor) mean to you personally?

This letter may give us a glimpse of second-generation Christianity, written perhaps at the same time as the Gospel of John. What new situation did the Ephesians face that caused the writer of this letter to reinterpret Paul? They had shifted their world-view. They no longer lived in the temporal tension between the time of Jesus’ death and the time of Christ’s return. With this in mind, the writer reinterprets Paul by claiming that by God’s grace believers have been saved; however salvation is not yet complete. Believers live in the “already here but not yet” reality of God’s saving action in Christ. 

Closing Prayer

Steadfast God,
you reach out to us in mercy
even when we rebel against your holy call
and prefer to walk in disobedience
rather than in the way of your divine truth.

Soften our hearts with the warmth of your love,
that we may know your Son alive within us,
redeeming us
and raising us up into your eternal presence. Amen.

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