The Helping Hand – Spring 2023

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The biblical thread of the Spring Quarter connects Jesus’ ministry on earth, as exhibited in passages from all four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, to the birth of the church following Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension as seen in passages from the Book of Acts.

Unit I, “Called from the Margins of Society,” highlights accounts where Jesus disregards artificial societal barriers, choosing instead to reach people on the margins. Lesson 1, from Luke examines Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, who was restored to a place of honor in his father’s home despite his indulgence in life’s pleasure that left him destitute. In Lesson 2, drawn from Matthew, Jesus turns society’s preferences upside-down as he declares a child as “greatest.”  Lesson 3, from John’s Gospel, examines Jesus’ encounter with an outcast Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. Lesson 4 explores Jesus’ healing of man possessed by a legion of demons in the Gospel of Mark.

Unit II, “Experiencing the Resurrection,” has four lessons from the Gospels of Luke and John centering on Jesus’ appearances to his followers. Lesson 5 explores Luke’s account of the women’s surprise encounter at the empty tomb and their attempts to convey the message to the disciples. Lesson 6 is Luke’s account of the Easter Sunday lesson where the author tells of how the disciples came to believe in the Resurrection. Lesson 7 concentrates on Jesus’ appearance to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee as told in John 21. Lesson 8 continues John’s account and records Jesus’ reinstatement of Peter.

Unit III, “The Birth of the Church,” has five lessons from the early chapters of the Book of Acts. Lesson 9 highlights Jesus’ instructions that the disciples wait for the empowering of the Holy Spirit before beginning their ministry. Lesson 10 recounts the celebration of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit’s dramatic entrance empowers the disciples to speak in tongues (foreign languages). Peter and John demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit when they heal a lame man in Lesson 11. Lesson 12 spotlights the Holy Spirit, who transports Philip to the chariot of the Ethiopian eunuch where Philip explains the Scriptures. This quarter concludes with Ananias, who was directed by the Lord himself to minister to his enemy, the newly converted Saul, in Lesson 13.

May God richly bless your study of His Word this quarter as you seek to grow in the knowledge and living out of His will.