Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
Texts: Isaiah 53:1-12; Daniel 7:13-14; 2 Peter 1:16-20; Matthew 17:1-6; 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Call it the power of a vision. When Namire Wanamaker was 17-years-old she became pregnant. An honor roll student at A.I. duPont High School she was on track for college. When she learned of her pregnancy, she couldn’t envision her graduation this week from Delaware Technical Community College. Instead, she could only see the negative. How would she go to college now?
“She maintained her grade-point average,” her mother said. “It was hard. But she did it.” Namire graduated from high school and got a full-time job. It would have been easy for Namire to stay there. Guided by the vision of a better future, however, she enrolled in college. The only problem: she couldn’t afford it. Luckily, Danielle Moffett established the local “Hope and a Future” project for teen moms. The program teaches practical skills like parenting, financial literacy, how to get a job, how to find childcare and more: “We want them to know we are here for them,” Moffett said.
When Namire explained that she didn't have the money to go to college, Moffett said. “Stop. You are going to college”—the power of a vision. The nonprofit paid for her first semester of college and helped pay for textbooks and other supplies. They gave her rides to school and were there to cheer her on when she graduated in May with two associate's degrees: accounting and general business.
The vision of a better life drove her tenacity. Besides the challenges of school, she almost lost the baby in her second trimester, and her son is autistic. “I’m determined,” Namire says. “I feel like I had a lot of struggles, but this showed me my strength, it showed me how strong I am.”1
The power of a vision. This week’s lesson focuses on belief in the power and security of the prophetic visions we find in Scripture. Peter tells us that: we have a sure word of prophecy; we would do well to pay attention to that word; it’s like a light shining in darkness; it can shine in our hearts as bright as a star. There is only one ultimate purpose of prophecy: to illuminate the majesty of Jesus Christ to the world.
The Old Testament contains powerful visions of Jesus. Isaiah 53 tells us of His mission in life, and Daniel 7 shows us His work of mediation in the heavenly realms. Peter himself gives us his personal eyewitness vision of who Jesus was, who Jesus is, and who Jesus will be. Peter personally saw Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead. He saw Jesus walk on water. He saw the glorified Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, and he saw the resurrected Jesus leave this planet in the clouds of glory. The power of those visions enabled Peter to thrive even in the face of persecution.
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