lesson
1

Bible Class
Discussion Guide
by Edward Thomason

It was just beginning
Acts 1:1-12

warm up

1. How would you have felt had you been one of the apostles and had seen Jesus die on the cross? 

2. How would you have reacted to have heard that Jesus was resurrected?
        
[  ] Excited  [  ] Afraid  [  ] Curious  [  ] Skeptical [  ] Other

3. What questions would you have wanted to ask Jesus? What would you have expected him to do? Would you have been curious about what Jesus expected of you? Would you have wanted to run and tell everyone the "good news" immediately? How hard would it have been for you to wait?

wise up

Prelude:
    vs1. Who was the author of Acts? What was the former treatise that he had written to Theophilus? (Cf., Luke 1:3) What is implied by the statement that the gospels contain that which Jesus "began to do and teach?"  Was his work in life only a prelude of greater things to come? Thru whom specifically was Jesus to continue his work? Does "doing" usually precede "teaching?" If so, how important would it be for the apostles to be able to do something to convince people before teaching them? 
    vs2. What specific commandments did Jesus give to his apostles after his resurrection but prior to his ascension? (Cf., Mark 16:16.) 

Proofs:
    vs3.
What does the word "passion" refer to in verse 3? What were some of the "infallible or convincing proofs" of Christ's resurrection? Who did Jesus have to convince first? (Cf., John 20:25). Who are others that saw Jesus risen? (Cf., I Cor. 15:3-8). What topic did Jesus talk about over the 40 day period? Why was this topic of major importance to Jesus? (Cf., Matthew 16:16-19.)

Promises:
    vs4. With whom was Jesus assembled and speaking when he said to wait for the promise? Before answering, consider the context: (1) To whom did Jesus give commandments in vs 2? To whom did he show himself alive in vs 3? To whom did he speak about the kingdom of God in vs 3? With whom then was he assembled in vs 4 when he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem? 

    vs5. After considering who Jesus was assembled with and speaking to in the previous verses, to whom did he promise the baptism of the Holy Spirit in vs 5? (Cf., John 14:25-26, 16:7, 13.)

    vs6.  What kind of kingdom were the apostles asking about in verse 6?  What kind of kingdom had Jesus come to establish according to Matthew 16:18-19 and  John 18:36? Was there a problem with their understanding of the nature of Christ's kingdom at that time?

Power:
    vs7-8.
What would the apostles receive after the Holy Spirit came upon them? How would this help them to convince others that Jesus was resurrected? What is a witness? Of what must they, the apostles, have witnessed according to vs 22?, (Cf., I John 1:1).

Preview of what is yet to come: 
    vs9-12. What happened to Jesus? Where did he go? (Cf., Luke 24:50-51, John 20:17.) Imagine the joy and celebration in heaven when Jesus ascended. What would you have been thinking had you been one of the apostles watching him ascend? How will Jesus return? Will there be clouds on that day? Will every eye see him when he returns? (Cf., Rev 1:7 - no secret return.)

wrap up
1. How hard do you think it was for the apostles to "wait" after having experienced all this? What must have been going thru their minds? What do you think they would have wanted to do rather than "wait?"

2. Why didn't Jesus want them to start preaching right away? Was it because they had no way of proving what they had seen? Does this help explain why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower them?  Read Mark 16:19-20. How did Jesus "confirm" their words as being true? What was the purpose of miracles and signs according to this text? 

3. Note again Mark 16:20. Who was "working with the apostles in the book of Acts?" Was the earthly ministry of Jesus the end of his work or only the "beginning of what Jesus did and taught" as Luke stated in Acts 1:1? As time permits, discuss how Jesus continues to work and teach today.

Assignment

  Please read Acts 1:13-26 for next week        copyright 2001