July Memory Verse: “Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock” Matthew 7:24
July 22: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector: We can learn from the stories Jesus told. Often the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is interpreted as a rebuke to the Pharisee, but disciples and believers are just as vulnerable to pride and self-righteousness as the Pharisees. Jesus ended the parable with a qualifying statement. “All who life themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up”.
July 29: The Ten Talents: We can learn from the stories Jesus told. This parable not only teaches responsibility and stewardship, but also a portrait of a king’s vengeance. Jesus, as king, would have a value system directly opposite to the king in the parable. The kingdom of God would not come immediately so the disciples were called to be faithful while they waited for the king. They were not to contribute to the greed and the oppression of the poor by adding wealth to the wealthy. The parable calls for allegiance to a king whose kingdom is opposed to vengeance and profit at the expense of the poor.
August Memory Verse: “I have given you an example: just as I have done, you also must do.” John 13:15
August 5, 2018 The Man in the Synagogue: We can follow Jesus’ example. Jesus’ visit to the synagogue provoked a confrontation with the Pharisees. The question proposed by the Pharisees was hostile, not for information or discussion, but in order to accuse him of breaking the Jewish Law. The dispute was over the proper observance of the Sabbath. This conflict revealed the Pharisees’ true intent, to kill Jesus.
August 12, 2018 Mary and Martha: We can follow Jesus’ example. On his journey to Jerusalem for the last time, Jesus stopped and had a meal at Mary and Martha’s house. Martha welcomed Jesus and prepared a meal for him. Mary didn’t help with the meal. Instead, she sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his words. Mary assumed the place of a disciple and neglected her duty to help her sister with the meal. Her actions were a clear violation of the social boundaries of the day and could bring shame on her household. But Jesus allowed Mary to claim the same role as the disciples.