Bible Study: Through the ‘Six Streams’ in the Life of Jesus
Week 5: The Word-Centered Life
“The soul can do without everything except the word of God, without which none at all of its wants are provided for.” ~Martin Luther
Read: Luke 4: 16-20a; 42-44 The Written Word
Qt: What does the “word of God” mean to you?
Most people believe that the “word of God” denotes the Bible. However, the Word of God is three-fold:
(a) the written word (Scripture); (b) the living word (Jesus); and (c) the spoken word—truth proclaimed from the written word and personal testimony of the living word (Jesus).
Augustine recognized the importance of the entire written word (The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament). He states, “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.” The evidence of Jesus does not begin in the New Testament, but is written from the beginning of time. Followers of Jesus know the two testaments together as the written Word of God.
Time for a game of hide and seek! Look for places in the Hebrew Testament where Jesus is made known now that we know the truth of Jesus as our Messiah.
Qt: Are there verses in the Hebrew Testament that have nourished your relationship with Jesus?
If so, write them down and incorporate them in your prayers.
Read: 2Timothy 3:16-17
Qt: What does it mean that Scripture is “God-breathed”?
There is great variety in Scripture. God spoke through each author’s style and particular cultural context.
Qt: What does this tell you about how God likes to work?
Read: John 1:1-14 The Living Word
“The Word was made flesh and lived among us.” John 1:14
Qt: Why do you believe John called Jesus “the Word”?
Qt: Do you have any ideas about God that are different than what you see in Jesus?
(Negative thoughts are okay)
Read: Matthew 16: 13-17
When Jesus asks ‘Who do you think I am?’ Peter responds “You are the Messiah,
the Son of the Living God”.
Qt: If Jesus asked you the same question directly, how would you respond?
Qt: Can you recall words or actions that indicate Jesus’ exalted stature as the Son of God?
Read: 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 The Spoken Word
The ‘foolish’ message of the cross is grace to those who follow Christ; yet to many it is crazy-talk. We are given hope through the death and resurrection of Christ.
Qt: How might our proclamation of the resurrection become grace to those who always thought it was foolishness?
Qt: What scriptures ‘speak’ to your needs and hopes for the future? For your family? For the world?
Would they be helpful for someone else to hear?
** For extra reading on this topic, look at Colossians Chapters 1, 2, and 3.
** Memorize scriptures that have been helpful in times of distress, illness, grief, etc. so that you may recall them at the moment most needed.
Read: John 14: 25-26
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
God is not silent, but continues to speak through ‘the wind’, the Holy Spirit. God is loving you, guiding you, supporting you, and experiencing with you all that you are going through. Listen for God’s Word as it comes through the Holy Spirit. Allow the Word of God to become your foundation for a holy life.
Pray for God to speak and then listen with your ears, your mind, your heart, and your spirit—all connected to God in a divine way.
Qt: When have you heard the Holy Spirit? (Notice I didn’t ask “Did you receive a message from the Holy Spirit”. The assumption is that you absolutely did receive a message. The true question becomes when did you hear it? Just as we ignore God’s presence when we are mad or disappointed in God, we ignore the messenger that comes on behalf of Jesus).
Read: 1 Samuel 2: 1-3
Praise the Lord for all that he has done for you, for your family, for your friends, for the world.
Spoken Word is a two-way conversation! The Bible is God’s story about God’s interaction with God’s people…a two way communication. Learning about salvation, learning about God’s unconditional and unceasing love, and learning about a safe harbor in the midst of trauma and pain offers us a reason to praise God’s holy name, wisdom, and power! Let God hear your wonder and joy at the magnitude of God’s response to you, the beloved.
May you find strength and hope in the Word of God.
Next week we will learn about The Sacramental Life of Jesus. It is the final session of this study.
Grace and peace to you and yours.