Alumni Bible Study

A Bible study initially set up for alumni of the Senior Sunday School Class at the First United Methodist Church of Lufkin, Texas. It is our hope and our prayer that this study touches the hearts of those who participate and helps spread the love and grace of Our Lord and God. All who want to learn more about God are welcome

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Location: lufkin, Texas, United States

I am a Christian family man, Lay Pastor and writer from Deep East Texas. I love life, and I enjoy working with young people. I have published two books; "A Small Mind Among Tall Trees" and "God If You Are Not Too Busy, Can You Give Me a Hand". If you want to obtain a copy drop me an e-mail or go to or barnesand . I have been a salesman, cowman and athlete in my past. I still have a strong sense of humor and am not afraid to use it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

John 11:45-57

Read,Relax, Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our Hearts and Open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen

The Plot to Kill Jesus
45Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

"What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our placea]'> and our nation."

49Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."

51He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple area they asked one another, "What do you think? Isn't he coming to the Feast at all?" 57But the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone found out where Jesus was, he should report it so that they might arrest him.

Jesus had raised his friend Lazarus from the dead and the word got back to the Pharisees. Actually, now things had gone past just the priests, now the whole council, (Sanhedrin) becomes involved. After word got to them that Jesus is raising people from the dead, the Sanhedrin realized that Jesus could be very dangerous! If people started to believe that He was Messiah, the Jews would raise up and this would upset the Romans.

Caiaphas, the high priest, utters a big prophecy in vs. 49-53. For the sake of the nation-Jesus must die. He was correct, but not as he wished it. Jesus was to die to save a nation, but not the nation of Israel. Jesus was to die for all! The stakes have been raised, now Jesus could not have turned back even if he wanted to. Soon he would have to go to Jerusalem!


1. What did the Sanhedrin fear?

2. What was Caiaphas willing to do? (for the sake of the nation.)

3. Do you think the people knew who Jesus was and what he must do? Do we?

Prayer- Lord, We can not ever thank you enough for loving us so much that you sent Jesus as a living sacrifice for us. Give the the strength and courage to spread the news with others. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

John 11:28-44

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

28And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you." 29When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34"Where have you laid him?" he asked.
"Come and see, Lord," they replied.

35Jesus wept.

36Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

37But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
38Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39"Take away the stone," he said.
"But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

40Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."

43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."

I will refrain, (kind of,) from making any zombie or mummy comments about this reading. This passage really does show that Jesus was a human, and had human relationships and emotions. Jesus had already talked to Martha, now Mary came to see him as he was making his way to their house. The other mourners followed, thinking Mary was going to the grave to mourn. As she and Jesus visited Jesus became very moved and cried. ( Many people say that John 11:35 is their favorite verse because it showed his human side, but we all know it is because it is only two words long and easy to memorize.)

They go to the tomb and Jesus tells them to move away the rock, (foreshadowing?) but the people hesitate. Laz has been there for four days and is starting to get rank. Jesus tells them that if they believe they would see the glory of God. He then calls Laz to come on out- and he does!


1. Why would Jesus cry if he knew he could give life?

2. Both Mary and Martha had told Jesus that they knew he could have healed their brother, why were they hesitant about the dead raising?

3. What does this story say to you about faith in Jesus?

Prayer- Lord, we know that all things are possible in you. We know that you feel our pain, our sadness and our joy. Please be with us as we go through life. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

John 11:17-27

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Jesus Comforts the Sisters
17On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18Bethany was less than two milesa]'> from Jerusalem, 19and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."

23Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

24Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

27"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ,b]'> the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

Lazarus, Jesus' friend, has died. People are already gathering to comfort his family. Martha, Lazarus' sister, meets Jesus as he approaches. She tells Jesus that if he had been hear earlier Lazarus would still be living. Jesus tells her that Lazarus will rise again, and she agrees that on the day of judgement Laz will rise again.

Jesus tells her that He is the resurrection, and who believes in him will never die. He even asks Martha if she believes. She does. What does this mean?


1. Does this mean that people who truly believe that Jesus is Christ will live forever?

2. Do our physical bodies wear out? If we live forever the world should get crowded?

3. Is Jesus the judge? What is the evidence that He is looking for?

Prayer- Lord, help us remember that when we accept your love and grace, we will be with you forever. Help us share that great news with the world. Go-Fight-Win. Amen

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

John 11:1-16

Relax, Read and Reflect
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

The Death of Lazarus
1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. 3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."

4When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

7Then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."

8"But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"

9Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. 10It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."

11After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."

12His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." 13Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."

16Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

The family of Lazarus was very close to Jesus and His disciples. When Jesus hears that Lazarus is ill, he lingers for a few days instead of rushing to the sick bed. Of course, the Jews in Judea were still upset with Jesus and may have killed him. His disciples wondered why Jesus would even think of going back.

His answer of the twelve hours of daylight and darkness mean that there are things in this world we can not change. If the Jews want to kill Jesus, they will. But it would be when God willed it- not His enemies. He is also using this as another way to show miracles for his followers and the people of Judea.


1. Why did Jesus linger away when he heard his friend Lazarus was ill?

2.Why were the disciples scared if Jesus was not?

3. If Lazarus was dead, why did Thomas say "we will go die with him".

Prayer- Lord, help us remember that things happen on your time table. It is your will that we do here on earth, give us the strength to carry that out. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

John 10:31-42

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"

33"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

34Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'a]'>? 35If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? 37Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." 39Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

40Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed 41and many people came to him. They said, "Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true." 42And in that place many believed in Jesus.

Jesus is not doing as many miracles, He is now concentrating on teaching, and some of the people aren't digging it. Again they want to chunk rocks at him. He asks why? The crowd says that they like the miracles and all, they just don't like the blasphemy. Jesus bows up. He reasserts that He is God's son. He then asks them to believe through the things he has done and said. The crowd is not swayed and bum-rushes Jesus, but He escapes. He heads back across the Jordan to where John had been working earlier, and there many people started to believe.


1. Why do the people want to kill Jesus?

2. How does Jesus compare Himself to God?

3. Why is it important that Jesus goes to a place where John had been baptising?

Prayer- Dear Lord, Watch over us. Please protect us from evil and help us see the Truth in all we do and say. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.