God’s Word for This Week
First Lesson - Acts 16:9-15
1. When and where did Paul meet Lydia?
2. What was Lydia’s occupation? What can we infer about her?
3. What was Lydia’s response to Paul’s preaching?
Second Lesson - Revelation 21:9-27
4. Some people are waiting for the New Jerusalem to be built on earth. Is John describing this when he gives such exact details of the Holy City?
5. How does John describe being in God's presence?
Gospel - John 16:25-33
6. What do the disciples affirm about Jesus in verse 30?
7. As Jesus concludes His speech to the disciples in the upper room on the night before He is crucified, He tells them that they will face trails and trouble because they are His followers. What declaration does He leave them with to reassure them ... and us?
1. Paul met Lydia by a river on the Sabbath. He and his group had gone outside Philippi’s city gate by the river, expecting to find a place to play. Upon his arrival at a new city, Paul normally headed to the synagogue to proclaim the gospel. But there were so few Jews in Philippi that there was no synagogue, so the Jews who did live there met for prayer along the banks of the Gangites River. It was customary for such places of prayer to be located outdoors near running water.
2. She was a business woman of some means (purple fabric was extremely expensive due to the dyes used to produce the color) and therefore very influential in the community.
3. Lydia was a Gentile who believed in the true God and followed the moral teachings of Scripture. She had not, however, became a full convert to Judaism. But as she listened to Paul's message, the Lord opened Lydia's heart to receive the gospel of Christ. And it appears there was no holding back for Lydia. As soon as she heard Paul's message, she decided to be baptized and her entire household followed suit.
4. Although the details are exact, John is not describing an earthly city. He is describing heaven which God the Father is preparing for us. The detailed description with the beautiful symmetry is highly figurative. It is meant to paint a picture of the safety, beauty, and perfection of heaven.
5. When we join the saints in heaven, we will bask in the never-ending light of God’s glory. The glorious love God showed sinners by sending His Son will illumine us forever. What we receive now intermittently through Word and Sacrament we will enjoy eternally in heaven.
6. The disciples affirm that Jesus has indeed come from God.
7. Jesus reassures the disciples that, though they will face tribulation in the world, He has overcome the world. Christ's victory over sin and death through His crucifixion and resurrection belongs to them ... and to all who believe in Him.