Glad Tidings for Beginners

If you are starting a Glad Tidings group and don't know where to start, we recommend you to use these ten easy texts. We have made them easier still from what they are elsewhere on our web page.

1. God is born as a babyLuke 2:1-20
2.Jesus meets a paralyzed manMark 2:1-12
3.Jesus meets a successful young politicianMark 10:17-27
4.Jesus meets a sinful womanLuke 7:36-50
5.Teachings of Jesus A: two lost sonsLuke 15:11-32
6.Teachings of Jesus B: Who is my neighbor?Luke 10:25-37
7.Jesus meets the head of a tax officeLuke 19:1-10
8.Jesus meets a blind beggarMark 10:46-52
9.Jesus meets two murderersLuke 23:32-43
10.The risen Jesus meets his doubting discipleJohn 20:19-31

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1. GOD IS BORN AS A BABY
Luke 2:1-20

Background: In the 1st chapter of Luke, it is told how Mary became pregnant from the Holy Spirit without the contribution of any man. Relatives and neighbors, of course, thought that the child was Joseph’s. In that culture, starting a sexual relationship before the wedding was a terrible sin and a terrible shame. Note that the Jews had been waiting for the birth of David’s son, Christ the King, already for hundreds of years, because it had been prophesied in the Old Testament.

Verses 1-3

Verses 4-5

Verses 6-7. A manger means a feeding trough for animals. Based on that, it has been concluded that Jesus was born in an animal shelter, possibly in a cave.

Verses 8-9. Shepherds were discriminated against at that time because they could not “keep the Sabbath holy”, i. e. not to work on the day of rest. They were also not accepted as witnesses in courts due to their alleged unreliability.

Verses 10-12

Verses 13-14

Verses 15-20

Glad tidings: Jesus was born into this world so that you too would have great joy in your life. He wants to be your Savior and forgive you your wrongdoings. These “glad tidings”, however, had a high price, which Jesus himself had to pay. He started paying it in the manger and finished it on the cross.

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2. JESUS MEETS A PARALYZED MAN
Mark 2:1-12

Background: Houses in Israel had and still have flat roofs. The roofs were built in such a way that two layers of wood were laid on top of supporting logs, and two layers of clay were laid between them. An outside staircase led to the roof. The owner of the house in our text was the mother-in-law of Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus, and it served as Jesus’ home while he was in Capernaum. A person usually becomes paralyzed in middle age or later as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage or blockage. At the same time, he often loses his ability to speak in whole or in part. In our text, the paralyzed man does not say a single word.

Verses 1-3. Let us first think about the paralyzed man’s life up to that point.

Verses 3-4a. Let us now think about the journey those four men made from the house of the paralyzed man to the roof of the house of Peter’s mother-in-law.

Verse 5. We are now considering the short period when the sick person had already heard the words of forgiveness, but had not yet been cured.

Verses 6-7. The Jews knew from the Law of Moses that sins could only be forgiven in the temple where animals were sacrificed for the offenders.

Verses 8-9

Verses 10-12. A person usually needs long-term physiotherapy to be able to move if he has been lying in bed for years. Note that “the Son of Man” stands for “Jesus”.

Glad tidings: In this Bible study, Jesus says to you, too: “My son/ my daughter, your sins are forgiven.” He had, however, to pay a high price for his promise: for he himself was made a sin offering when he was hanging on the cross and carrying the punishment for our sins.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com

3. JESUS MEETS A SUCCESSFUL YOUNG POLITICIAN
Mark 10:17-27

Background: Matthew describes the man in our text a young man, and Luke says that he was in a high social position. He may even have been a member of the local parliament, that is, the Supreme Council.

Verses 17-18. Please note that in Middle Eastern cultures, running is not considered as appropriate behavior to a self-respecting man. Not kneeling in front of people either.

Verses 19-20

Verse 21

Verse 22

Verses 23-25

Verses 26-27. Here Jesus is no longer talking only about the rich, but about all the people of the world.

Glad tidings: The person who does not see his sins, usually leaves Jesus. If you realize that you haven’t obeyed the commandments listed by Jesus, you should ask Jesus for forgiveness. You can do it by yourself, in front of a pastor / priest or at a communion table. Then you will also receive the assurance that you will inherit eternal life and go to heaven after your death.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com

4. JESUS MEETS A SINFUL WOMAN
Luke 7:36-50

Background: A honoured guest was welcomed in those days with a welcome kiss and. After that his feet were washed and anointed with olive oil. The Pharisees were people who wanted to live according to God’s will. They also separated themselves from sinners. The woman in our text was apparently selling herself as a prostitute. She must have heard that Jesus was eating together with sinners, which other religious teachers never did. Preliminary questions

Verse 36

Verse 37. A bottle of alabaster full of perfume cost quite a bit of money. Women would carry such a bottle of perfume with a string around their necks.

Verse 38. In that culture, women were usually wearing a scarf on their heads. They were not supposed to take it off and show their hair in front of strange men.

Verse 39

Verses 40-43. Jesus shows that he has read Simon’s thoughts and tells him a small parable. 500 denarii corresponds to a salary for one and a half years, and 50 denarii to a salary of one and a half months.

Verses 44-46

Verse 47-48

Verse 49. Jesus’ words amazed the people because the Jews could receive forgiveness only when offering an animal sacrifice in the temple.

Verse 50

Glad tidings: If you bring the debt of your sins to Jesus (say, at the communion table), he will say to you the same words that he said to the woman of our text: “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (verses 48 and 50). Only he can say these words because he has paid all your debt with his own blood.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com

5. TEACHINGS OF JESUS (A): TWO LOST SONS
Luke 15:11-32

Background: The sons in this parable may refer to people who have been baptized as children of Heavenly Father. Or they may mean people for whom God is their Father on the basis of creation.

Verses 11-12

Verses 13 and 30

Verse 14

Verse 15-16. The work of a swineherd was the worst thing a Jew could imagine, because pigs were unclean animals according to the Law of Moses.

Verses 17-19

Verse 20. The Israelite house did not stand on a hill in its lofty solitude, but along a densely populated village track. The only place where one could see a little further was the roof of the house.

Verses 21-24. Note that only slaves walked barefoot at that time.

Verses 25-28

Verses 29-32

Glad tidings: Jesus, too, left his Father’s home, but for completely different reasons than those of the prodigal son: he wanted to fulfill his Father’s will. When he was returning to his home (at the time of his death), he did not, however, get the same warm welcome as the prodigal son. On the contrary: the door of heaven was slammed in his face and he had to cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is why the door of heaven is now wide open before every prodigal son and daughter who comes to the heavenly Father with a ruined life.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com

6. TEACHINGS OF JESUS B: WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
Luke 10:25-37

Background: The situation with this parable is a bit like a despised immigrant hurrying to the aid of an injured far-right extremist. At the time of Jesus, the Jews despised the Samaritans who were living between inside their territory. Samaritans were partly Assyrian origin and their religion was different from that of the Jews. Both, however, believed in one God and the five books of Moses.

Verses 25-27. At the time of Jesus “a lawyer” meant a person who had studied the Bible thoroughly and knew the law of Moses. Most of the lawyers were opponents of Jesus.

Verses 28-29.

Verse 30: The mountain road between Jerusalem and Jericho was 25 km (about 15Ĺ miles) long and sparsely populated, making it an ideal place for robbers and highwaymen. The beaten man was a Jew, as were the robbers, the priest and the Levite.

Verses 31-32. A priest and a Levite (a kind of a church caretaker) were on their way to the temple in Jerusalem to perform their religious duties. If they touched blood or a dead body on the way, they were not allowed to enter the temple during that day. This was written in the Law of Moses, as was the commandment of love.

Verses 33-34

Verse 35. Two denarii was the wages of two daysí work, in other words 1/15th of the monthly salary. It was enough to live for a month in an inn.

Verses 36-37 and 29

Application questions

Glad tidings: None other than Jesus has ever fulfilled the double commandment of love. He is the real Good Samaritan. In order to be able to help us Jesus agreed to be beaten, stripped, rejected and killed. In this way, he obtained forgiveness and eternal life for those who have broken the commandment of love many times over. For each of us.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com

7. JESUS MEETS THE HEAD OF A TAX OFFICE
Luke 19:1-10

Background: “A publican” means a tax collector. At the time of Jesus, the tax collectors in Israel were famous for their dishonesty. Firstly, they were in the service of the occupying power (the Romans), and secondly, they pocketed some of the tax money for themselves. No wonder they were usually rich. In verse 7 we can see how unpopular Zacchaeus was in his hometown.

Verses 1-2 and 7. Jesus is known to have visited Jericho only this one time, one week before his death.

Verses 3-4. In general, tax collectors had nothing to do with religious people and vice versa. After becoming a publican, Zacchaeus probably stopped going to synagogue or the temple of Jerusalem.

Verse 5

Verse 6

Verse 7

Verse 8. The best translation for this verse is: “And I will now pay back four times as much to everyone I have ever cheated.” (CEV) In other words, Zacchaeus admitted that he was guilty of stealing.

Verses 9-10

Glad tidings: On his way to Jerusalem to be crucified, Jesus visited Jericho for the sake of Zacchaeus. In forgiving him for his sins, Jesus knew that the following week he himself would have to bear his punishment to the cross. Forgiveness of sins was free for Zacchaeus and is free for us, but for Jesus it cost his life.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com

8. JESUS MEETS A BLIND BEGGAR
Mark 10:46-52

Background: As Jesus was leaving Jericho, he met a blind beggar who identified him as the son of David. One thousand years earlier, God had promised King David that his son would sit on the throne of Israel forever (2 Sam 7:12-16). Since then, the Jews had been waiting for a new David who would deliver them from their enemies, at the moment from Roman occupation. The Romans, of course, would not tolerate talk of Israelís former, let alone present, kings.

Preliminary question

Verse 46

Verses 47-48. Most people did not know that Jesus was a descendant of David. He had only been called the son of David once before, and that was by a Canaanite woman outside the borders of Israel.

Verse 49

Verse 50. Probably his cloak was Bartimaeusí most precious possession, and it also served as a mattress and blanket at night.

Verse 51

Verse 52

What happened then

Glad tidings: Bartimaeus regained the light of his eyes. Jesus, on the other hand, had to die on the cross in pitch darkness, rejected by God, so that neither Bartimaeus nor the rest of us would have to go into the eternal darkness of hell.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com

9. JESUS MEETS TWO MURDERERS
Luke 23:32-43

Background: In the Roman Empire, people were usually crucified only for the hardest crimes. We can therefore assume that the two men were multiple and relentless murderers. As Jews, they too had attended some synagogue school and learned the Ten Commandments, for example, “Thou shall not kill” and “Thou shall not steal.”

A preliminary question

Verse 32

Verses 33-34. Note that the crucified were first stripped naked.

Verse 35. The Old Testament prophets had predicted that God would send to Israel a great king, the new David. In Hebrew, that king was called the Messiah, in Greek Christ. The title means “anointed.”

Verses 36-37. These mockers were Roman soldiers.

Verse 38. Sometimes a tablet was attached over the head of a crucified person, with his crimes written on it. Jesus also had a crown of thorns on his head. We can call the two murderers “A” and “B.”

Verses 39-41

Verses 42-43. Presumably “A” thought that he would go to hell for the murders he committed.

Glad tidings: The gate of paradise opened to the murderer because Jesus passed through the gate of hell in his stead – and in our stead. In fact, Jesus suffered punishment for all the sins of that murderer and can therefore forgive them to him. In the same way we can also get our sins forgiven, no matter how terrible they are.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com

10. THE RISEN JESUS MEETS HIS DOUBTING DISCIPLE
John 20:19-31

Background: Jesus spent Friday night, Saturday and Sunday night in the tomb. Sunday morning he rose from the dead. No one saw it, but two angels and the risen Lord himself announced the good news to the women who came to the tomb. At first the disciples did not believe womenís story. Then came Sunday night...

Verses 19-20

Verses 21-23

Verses 26-27

Verse 28

Verse 29

Verses 30-31

A summarizing question

Glad tidings: Jesus still has the scars of his wounds visible even in heaven. It is in them that we can see how much he loves us. Only in heaven will we be able appreciate his sufferings for us enough and praise him for them for all eternity.

© 2021 The Friends of Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com