Week of February 4th

Genesis 22: 1-18

This is perhaps one of the most fascinating stories in the Old Testament: Why would God ask Abraham to take his only son Isaac to Mt. Moriah and sacrifice him there? And why did Abraham obey God? Why was he willing to kill his only son? We get a hint of what is at play when Isaac asks his father where the lamb was for the sacrifice, and Abraham responds that God will provide the sacrifice. Why would Isaac, probably a teenager at this time, allow Abraham to tie him up so as to sacrifice him? The explanation is found in the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, where it is stated that Abraham remembered the promise that God had made to him, that Abraham would have offspring through his son Isaac (Gen. 21:12).  

The key to the story is that both Abraham and Isaac believed God. That is why Abraham could say to his servants that he and the boy would go a little further to worship and then come back to them; Abraham did not know what would happen but He, in faith, trusted God.  Abraham did get his son back alive, a picture of the future Jesus, God’s only Son, being substituted as the lamb for us so that we might have life. 

Read Genesis 22: 1-18

What was the promise God made to Abraham that may have given him hope in this situation? Hint: Read Genesis 15: 3-6.

What are the similarities in this story and the story of Jesus? For a hint about location: Read 2 Chronicles 3:1.

To try and put yourself in Abraham’s shoes: What is something you really love? How might you have responded if God asked you to give up that person/ thing in service to him?

How remarkable was it that Abraham believed God… Read Hebrews 11:17-19. What do we learn from this passage about Abraham’s faith in God and who God was? 

How do we see God’s character both in a caring and confusing light in this passage? Talk
about this. 

The bible mentions the words “fear not” 365 times, obviously something God might want us to remember. How can we remind ourselves to turn to God when we are afraid? Discuss this with your family.

Mark 8:27-38

Today’s reading finds Jesus having a chat with his disciples, in particular wondering who people thought Jesus was. Some thought he was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Others thought he was Elijah returned to earth (Malachi 4:5), or some other prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15). When Jesus asked His disciples whom they thought he was, Peter was quick to identify Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. When Jesus explained to them that this involved his suffering and death, after three days be raised from the dead, Peter objected because he did not fully understand who Jesus was. 

Read Mark 8:27-38

Read question 93 from the first article of the apostles' creed. 
What are some attributes of Jesus? Write these down and put them on your fridge to remember to use these for prayer time throughout the week. 

What is your favorite attribute of who Jesus is? Why is this your favorite? Share.

Peter halfway understands what Jesus is telling him. Can you think of an example in your own life where you knew God was there but you didn’t fully understand his plan? 

If you were asked by a friend “Who is Jesus?” what would be your response? Talk about this.