Ponder Eternity, Eternally

Collectively Considering with Scripture as our Rubric

#27 He Is Not Here, for He Is Risen July 11, 2007

August 5, 2007

I suggest you include Mark 16 along with the JST portions of each book’s assigned scriptures as found in the apendix. Assigned scriptures for this lesson are: Matthew 28; Luke 24; John 20-21.

As you read these scriptures, consider the words of Brigham Young, “Do you read the Scriptures, my brethren and sisters, as though you were writing them a thousand, two thousand, or five thousand years ago? Do you read them as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them? If you do not feel thus, it is your provilege to do so, that you may be as familiar with the spirit and meaning of the written word of God as you are with your daily walk and conversation, or as you are with your workmen or with your households.” [Young, 7:333]

Each gospel writer has a different vantage point on this same scene. Try your best to travel back in time and BE THERE. Become a witness of the resurrected Christ yourself, as Pres. Young invites you to do.

After reading, what do you make of all the discrepancies? How do these variations affect you? Why did each author write down what he did? Who are their words intended for? What is the purpose of what they wrote?

From Julie Smith’s book: “As you read chapter 24, you may want to consider how various people react to the Risen Christ. How can you model their responses? Are there any responses to avoid?”
Why aren’t the women’s testimonies recorded who were first on the scene of the resurrection, or the first witnesses?

I’m going to start with the book of Luke as I specifically offer questions:
Luke 24:
v. 1: Who is “they?” See v. 10, & 23:55. Why aren’t the scriptures more specific in identifying these “early birds” to the tomb? Isn’t this a significant moment in time at which someone’s name SHOULD be given? Why are the gospel writers so specific in identifying people at other times, i.e. v. 10 & 18, but not here? Why would the gospel say, “certain others” instead of naming the people involved in such a monumental event as being the first witnesses of the resurrection? Note the entry in the Bible Dictionary under “Italics” and the fact that “others” is in italics. Read 23:50-56. What role did these women play at the cruxifixtion and afterwards? What have these women been doing during the night. Why do you think “…rested the sabbath day according to the commandment” was added? Why do you think these women were first to witness the risen Christ?

v. 2-4: See the JST appendix here. What difference does this change make in your understanding? Consider Deut. 19:15.

v. 5-10: What did the women expect to find in the tomb? Where did these men come from? Who are they? What kind of fear are these women feeling? What did the men tell them in v. 5 with their questions? Did they only remember his words after hearing the angels? What does “remember” mean here? What does it mean for us to “remember” the Savior’s words? Does their action in the following verse (9) bear upon the action of “remembering?” Does their “remembering” have anything to do with their names being mentioned in verse 10? How does one qualify to have their names “recorded?” How does the reaction of these women contrast with the reaction with the men (apostles)?

(Why) did Luke structure his gospel pitting the women against the men? Julie Smith makes the point in her book that a special kind of doublet is frequently used through Luke’s gospel called a “gender pair:” Two stories or sayings, with one featuring a man and the other a woman. (pg. 80-81) Does this chapter fit that pattern? Why does Luke do this? Do men and women have difference ways in which they receive or testify of the Savior? Are the men and women representative of the genders specifically or a group of people generally?

v. 11: Why don’t the apostles believe the women? How can they NOT believe them? How does this verse strike you?

v. 12: Is Peter unbelieving? What is the sign of the resurrection for Peter here? How does Peter respond?

v. 13-24: Why does Jesus appear to these two men? Why do they not recognize him?

From Julie Smith’s book: “There are 3 theories as to the cause of the travelers’ blindess: 1. God is concealing Jesus’ identity. (Why would God do this?) 2. The disciples fail to recognize Jesus. (Does this imply that his resurrected appearance is different from his mortal appearance?) 3. Satan is blinding them. Which theory do you think is most likely?”

Why does Jesus “play stupid?” What are the men really asking Jesus in v. 18?

v. 25-26: Why does Jesus call them “fools?”

v. 27: Why does Jesus have to expound the scriptures to them? Isn’t this a little late or redundant considering the past 3 years they’ve been with him?

v. 28: Why does Jesus pretend to be traveling onward?

v. 29: Name that tune. 🙂 Is their request significant?

v. 30-31: What is the catalyst to their recognizing the Savior? See v. 35. Why does he then immediately vanish?

v. 32: Why do they NOW remember Jesus instead of remembering him earlier? What does it mean to have “our heart burn within us?” What is the catalyst to having “our heart burn within us?”

v. 33: What does this knowledge compell them to do? Is this remembering similar to the women’s remembering back in v. 8 & 9?

v. 34: When did Jesus appear to Simon (Peter)?

v. 36: What is the catalyst to Jesus appearing here? How is his response to their report different here than back in verse 25?

v. 37: Why do they again not recognize Jesus?

v. 38-40: Why doesn’t Jesus anticipate their response? Is their response appropriate? Contrast this response with the others’ who see the resurrected Savior:

v. 41: Why do they continue to doubt? The NIV translates this verse as: “And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement…” What does joy and amazement have to do with their disbelief? Why does the Savior have to go to such great lengths to convince them? Why does he humor them?

v. 41-43: From Julie Smith’s book: “Why does Luke emphasize meals and eating in the Resurrection appearances (v. 30 & 42-43)?”
v. 44: Try to visualize this scene. What is the Savior physically doing?

v. 44-47: Are these teachings something they’ve had before or are they new? Why are they getting these teachings AFTER the resurrection? What, according to these verses, is the purpose of scripture? Did Jesus say v. 47 or Luke? What is the mission of those to whom the Savior has witnessed? Who has this mission responsibility?

v. 48: Of what are “they” witnesses (“these things”)? Who are “they?” What are the witnesses being presented here to the apostles? What will the witnesses be to others (all nations)? Consider the “law of witnesses” here.

v. 49: What is the “promise of the Father” and how does Jesus send it “upon you”? Is the promise what will occure in Jerusalem? What does Jerusalem represent in Luke’s Gospel? Does this symbolism exist elsewhere in the scriptures and apply to anywhere else besides this “Jerusalem” Luke writes of? Are we expected to “tarry” until we “be endued with power from on high?” If so, where? How does one “tarry?” Is this promise only for those hearing his voice or others, too? See D&C 95:8-9.

v. 50: Why “Bethany?” See 19:29. Bethany is about 2 miles from Jerusalem.

v. 51: Is this a happy or sad scene? How does this parting compare with the previous partings? What were the “last words,” according to Luke given by the Savior to his apostles?

v. 52-53: How did they worship him? How were they “continually in the temple, praising and blessing God?” Is this what is expected of us? How is the joy in v. 41 and the joy in v. 52 the same or different? Note how the closing scene of Luke’s gospel is “in the temple” and the opening scene is in the temple (Luke 1:9). Does this bear upon Luke’s message? What can you learn from this “book end” temple reference?

Looking back at the beginning of Luke, what is his purpose in writing this gospel? (Luke 1:3-4) Has Luke accomplished his goal?

John 20-21:

v. 1: I love Mary’s devotion found in this verse “the first day of the week” and “early, when it was yet dark.” This verse reminds me of tithing being the “firstlings of the flock.” What can we learn about our devotion, worship and service from Mary’s example here?

v. 2-8: Why does Mary run to Peter and the “un-named disciple” here? How do they respond to her? How is this different than in the other gospels? Why does John want us to know that “the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre?” If you were at this scene, how would you record your own experience? Why does “the other disciple” look into the sepulchre but not enter it and why does Peter rush right in? Why do you think John included verse 8 in this scenerio?

v. 9: What does it mean to “know not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead?” Hadn’t this scripture been written in a multitude of OT places as well as taught by the Savior before his death? Does this verse relate to the previous verse and the subsequent “believing” on the part of the “other disciple?” Do you think the “other disciple” is the author of this gospel or not, why?

v. 10: Why did the men go home? What would you do after this experience?

v. 11-16: Why did Mary stay? Did all three witnesses of the empty tomb have the same concluding experience in “believing” as recorded in v. 8? See v. 13. What is the consequence of her staying? Why doesn’t she recognize Jesus? Is this the same kind of “blindness” Luke writes about with the apostle’s eyes being “holden” or different? Why didn’t Jesus appear to all three of them together?

v. 17: What does this verse teach about the resurrection, relationships?

v. 18: Why is Mary’s testimony not recorded in the scriptures? How do the disciples respond to her?

v. 19-21: How much time has passed? What do we learn about the resurrection from this? What is Jesus’ message to Mary and to the disciples? Is it the same to us?

v. 22-23: What happened here?

v. 24-25: Why did John include this about Thomas? Who does Thomas represent? Is this a positive or negative reaction to the other disciples’ testimony?

v. 26-28: What does the 8 days (or 1 week) symbolize here? Why is it significant that each time Jesus appears within a shut room? (v. 19, too) What is his message AGAIN? After this repeated SPOKEN message, what does the Savior do? How is Peace acquired, according to this modeling by the Savior? What do you think about Thomas now?

v. 29: What does Jesus teach us?

v. 30-31: What signs do you think Jesus did with his disciples? What is “these?” These verses are considered a statement of John’s Gospel’s purpose. Do you think he fulfilled his purpose?

John 21:
This chapter can be considered an Epilogue wherein Jesus recommissions the disciples. How do you see this happening? Why might they need to be recommissioned? How do they respond? Can you think of any other instance in history when the Lord’s servants needed to be re-commissioned? What does this teach us about God and about ourselves?

v. 5-6: Is this request for meat the same or different from the one in Luke? (Luke 24:41) Why does Jesus ask for meat? Why would Jesus ask them this if he’s already got some food prepared and waiting for them? (see v. 9)

v. 7: Why does John pit himself against Peter repeatedly in the way in which John recognizes and responds to Jesus? How do you feel about John repeatedly referring to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved?”

I appreciate an alternate translation from here through the end of John. I used the NIV which makes several things clearer. For example, Peter quickly puts on his coat, or outer garment, on because he had taken it off as opposed to the strange insert that Peter had been naked.

v. 12-14: Why did John include that the disciples dared not ask Jesus who he was? Is this an allussion to the Sermon on the Mount when the fish and bread were given to the multitude? Is the number 3 significant here?

v. 15-17: Why does Jesus call Peter “Simon son of John?” What is “these?” What is Jesus asking Peter? See Matt. 26:33; Mark 14:29 and John 13:37. Does Peter’s boasting of love and devotion for the Savior have anything to do with the way John identifies himself in his gospel or the way he pits himself against Peter in his relation of details? Why did Jesus ask his question 3 times? What is the point of the question? How did Peter handle the repeated questioning?

v. 18-19: The “stretch forth thy hands” was understood by the early church as a prophecy of crucifixion. Why did Jesus tell Peter how he would die? Does this relate to other foreknowledge the Savior gave Peter in the past? What does it mean to “glorify God?” What does Jesus mean by asking Peter to follow him?

v. 20: Why does John go to such lengths to identify himself here? He gives 3 signs of his identity: his relationship with Jesus, having leaned on Jesus and having asked who the betrayer was during the Last Supper.

v. 21: Why is Peter concerned with John’s fate?

v. 22: How does Jesus respond to Peter’s question?

v. 23: Why does John make the distinction in Jesus’ statement? Wasn’t this previously known (see Luke 9:27)?

v. 24: Why did John end his gospel this way instead of simply ending back with the last verse of Chapter 20? What does this verse teach us about John?

v. 25: What does this verse teach us about John’s writing?

 

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