Today is Tuesday, November 7. When Jesus said that the world will hate the disciples, he did not mean people might say mean things about them on the internet. Luke records the devastating and tragic events surrounding Paul’s rejection in Jerusalem. But remember what Jesus promised when the disciples faced persecution...
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Have you ever rejected someone from your life or from your social group? Why?
_ Have you been rejected?
_ How is the Lord impacting someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Paul, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with him attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
DISCOVER [Acts 2:42-47]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)
27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place. Moreover, he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30 Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. 31 And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. 32 He at once took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the tribune came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He inquired who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd were shouting one thing, some another. And as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. 35 And when he came to the steps, he was actually carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd, 36 for the mob of the people followed, crying out, “Away with him!”
_ What are the seven days referred to in v27? What was Paul doing?
_ Why was Paul recognized by the Jews from Asia? Why might they have reacted so poorly to him?
_ What is different about the plot to kill Paul in this passage to the plot to have Jesus executed in the Gospels?
_ Why does the Tribune intervene? What are their goals?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience? (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Can I see God’s hand in Paul’s story today?
_ Am I trusting God’s provision, not looking to the security which might come from other places?
_ Do I pray for Christians who are violently persecuted today?
+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus and what is your next step with them, how can we help?