Near The Cross Of Jesus
By Scarlett Stough
To prepare for this study, please read
the Women in Christ commentary, The
Women Who Followed Jesus From Galilee
Part I The example of the women who followed Jesus from Galilee.
1. Luke 8:1-3; Matthew 27:55-56 Who traveled with Jesus as he proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God? What do you learn about these women from these accounts of Luke and Matthew?
2. Matthew 27:55-56; Mark 15:40-41; Luke 23:49; John 19:25 What impressions about the character and devotion of these women do you draw from their presence at Jesusí crucifixion? List all the names given and note where they were located in the individual gospel accounts. Assuming these accounts are complementary not contradictory, what conclusions can you draw about who was present?
3. Matthew 27:61; Mark 15:47; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55-56 What service did these women plan to do for Jesus after he was placed in the tomb?*
4. Matthew 28:1-11; Mark 16:2-7**; Luke 24:1-12; John 19:42; John 20:1-18 What commission did Jesus give these women when he appeared to them after his resurrection?
5. Acts 1:4, 12-14; Acts 2:1-4, 17-18 What response do you think these women made when they received the power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost?
6. Acts 8:1-4 How active a role do you
think women continued to have in the early church? Why do you think so?
Part II Take up your cross.
1. Matthew 10:37-39; 16:24-26; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:22-26; Luke 14:25-35 What does it cost to follow Jesus? Does this teaching of Jesus imply this is an optional cost?
2. Matthew 24:9-14; Luke 19:14; John 15:18-25; John 17:14; I John 3:12-13; Romans 8:7 Why can followers of Jesus expect hostility and opposition to the teachings of Jesus?
3. Matthew 5:10-12 What benefit does Jesus promise to those who are persecuted for teaching the same thing Jesus taught? (Matthew 28:18-20)
4. Revelation 6:9-11; 12:17; 16:5-6; 17:6 Will persecution of those who follow Jesus continue until he comes again? How severe will it get? How severe is it around the world today?
5. I Peter 5:10-11; Revelation 20:4-6; 21:7; 22:12-14 What reward does the persecuted Christian anticipate?
6. Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 12:1-3; What value do you place on the suffering of Jesus?
7. I Peter 4:1; Romans 8:17; II Corinthians 1:5; II Timothy 1:8-12 How do you feel about being asked to share in the suffering of Jesus?
8. Hebrews 11:25-26; Hebrews 12:2; II Timothy
2:8-13; John 16:21-22 Are you able to visualize your reward and future
joy so clearly that the effort and suffering involved in trusting, following,
and obeying Christ seems a small price to pay?
Optional: Read and discuss Matthew chapters
24 and 25.
* Note on question 3: Some Christians
believe that there are two Sabbaths, the annual Sabbath of Passover beginning
the days of unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:5-7) and the weekly Sabbath
between the crucifixion and the resurrection. Jesus death would have
been at 3 p.m. on the fourteenth of Nissan (Wednesday) just as the High
Priest sacrificed the first Passover lamb. His burial would have been just
before sunset. The women rested the annual Sabbath on the fifteenth of
Nissan (Thursday); prepared spices on Friday, the preparation day for the
weekly Sabbath; and rested on the Seventh day according to Godís commandment.
When they arrived at the tomb on the first day of the week (which begins
at sunset on Saturday), Jesus had already risen. Jesus would have been
, as he said he would be, in the tomb for a full three days and three nights.
By allowing for two Sabbaths, the annual and the weekly, all of the gospel
accounts harmonize. Check it out for yourself.
** Note on question 4: Most
scholars believe that Mark ends at verse 8 with the remainder being a later
addition to the text.