“To Live Like Jacob”Unleashed | Week Three
Unleashed is a seven week bible study where we learn together what it means to live on this side of Easter and on this side of the Empty tomb. Each week we’ll release a lesson, accompanied scripture and a few thought provoking questions leading up to a group study.
This Weeks Teaching
Jacob was a liar and a thief. He was a trickster, a swindler. His name means “The Heel” because he held his brother Esau’s heel in birth but also “heeled” him in life, stealing his birthright by tricking his father. He claimed to be Esau to his father. He has fled from Esau’s wrath and now returns to confront his past. In this passage, a man approaches Jacob and doesn’t immediately bless him, but instead wrestles with him. It is a fierce battle with no seeming winner or loser. At the conclusion, the man asks Jacob his name. This allusion to the asking of his name formerly recalls Jacob’s sin, recalling his identity crisis. The “man” blesses him by changing his name from Jacob to ISRAEL from “yassar,” to wrestle and “El”, God. His new name is yassar-el, God wrestler. Israel is the name the nation would adopt as their own. They would be known as God-wrestlers. They are defined by the struggle of this relationship rather than the ease. For instance, Jacob leaves the fight with a limp that would mark him for the rest of his days. He leaves blessed and limping. This defines the encounter of faith in God, blessed and dangerous.
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.
This Week’s Questions
These questions can be brought to our small group, Community in The Word, on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 9:30AM. Child care is provided for those kids who are not in Sunday School. We do ask that you read the above lesson, scripture and answer the questions in advance – so that the Spirit of God can begin to stir up questions, thoughts, ideas and your heart.
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Related Group Bible Study
April 10 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 amFAMILY LIFE CENTER
Join us for Unleashed, a seven week bible study where we learn together what it means to live on this side of Easter and on this side of the Empty tomb. Each week we’ll release a lesson, accompanied scripture and a few thought provoking questions leading up to a group study.
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