I was working with a short term mission team over the weekend and decided to teach them the simple inductive Bible study method we detailed in this previous post. I was incredibly impressed at how quickly the group read the scripture, looked at the words and then came up with a summary statement and obedience actions. So I thought I would share some of what they found.
Here is the text:
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The Guards’ Report
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Some of what was noticed when asking the 4 key questions:
What does this teach us about God?
- Verse 6 – Jesus is alive!
- Verses 9 and 17 – He accepts our worship
- Verse 18 – He has all authority
- Verse 20 – He is always with us
What does this teach us about ourselves?
- Verses 4 and 5 – We fear
- Verses 13-14 – We lie to protect our power or reputation
- Verse 17 – We can still doubt God even when He shows Himself to us
Are there any sins to avoid?
- Verse 5 – Fear
- Verse 15 – Lying
- Verse 17 – Doubt
Are there any commands to obey?
- Verses 5 and 10- Do not be afraid
- Verses 7,10 and 19 – Go tell others!
- Verse 19 – Baptize new disciples
- Verse 20 – Teach new disciples to obey
At the end of our time, the group was asked to summarize the entire passage. This is what they came up with:
Do not be afraid! Jesus is alive! Now go tell everyone.
I will challenge you with the very same challenge the group was given:
Now that you have read the commands of Christ, how are you going to obey?