At the Holiday Bible Club service on 7 July 2019 Grant Retief preached briefly from Luke 23. It’s a short but rich passage (see below). Look at the word ‘kingdom’ for instance in verse 42. The New Bible Dictionary explains that the word ‘kingdom’ brings with it associations of judgement, a call to repentance, and, crucially, salvation.
The Vocabulary tool is not one we have actually learnt yet during our Women in God’s Word Sessions. This tool looks at unusual and difficult words. It also encourages us to look at familiar words. Words we might think we already understand. The word ‘paradise’ in verse 43 is a word we probably think we understand. If you can, get hold of a Bible Dictionary now, and in your pair/triplet look up the words ‘kingdom’, ‘paradise’ and ‘messiah’. How do the definitions given enhance your understanding of this short passage?
By using the Tone and Feel tool we can examine how a story in the Bible is told. If we were to reduce this Luke passage to simply what happened we might say: Jesus was crucified between two criminals. One insulted him, the other asked Jesus to save him. Jesus agreed to the request. But Luke 23:39-43 isn’t told like that at all. In your pair/triplet closely examine the language and the use of speech. How does the way this story is told add to your understanding of its importance? How does it bring to life the characters involved? Consequently, how does this passage make you feel?
Finish your time together by using the Summary Tool to write down one sentence summarizing the main idea of this passage.
Continue: The next pair/triplet post for digging deeper into the Bible will be next month. Over the next few weeks until then continue getting together in your pairs/triplets. When you do, apply some of the tools you have learnt to other passages you hear preached about.
Luke 23:39-43 New International Version (NIV)
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[a]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”