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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Independence Day and Luke's Gospel -- a quick Bible study

A quick Bible study on this day when Americans celebrate Independence Day, here are some related questions from Luke's gospel:
Luke 22:33ff (Simon Peter said to Jesus) “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” . . . Having arrested [Jesus] they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance. After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them. And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”

"A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed.

"The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Questions to consider:

1. How do you think Jesus looked at Peter? With anger? Disappointment? Love? Forgiveness? Tenderness?

2. Why do you think Simon Peter left the area and wept bitterly?

3. Why do you think Jesus looked at His betrayer with love and forgiveness? Notice this portion of Psalm 103: "Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear (reverence, worship] Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust."

4. Today America celebrates Independence Day. But you can celebrate your OWN independence – independence from whatever it is that causes you to believe Jesus would never forgive whatever it is you have done in the past. This story of Simon Peter reminds us that no matter our past sins, even if we betrayed the Lord – Jesus looks at us with the same love and tenderness and forgiveness as He looked at Simon Peter.

5. Simon Peter repented of his sin against the Lord. And Jesus freely forgave Peter. Do you think Jesus would do the same for you too, if you repent?

6. How does that make you feel?

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