Luke/Acts–Lesson 07

prayersmWeek of October 25

Text:

Luke 11

Summary:

Jesus instructs his disciples about prayer, demonstrating the manner in which his followers should act, then goes on to describe those who failed to follow Jesus in showing justice and love to others.

Text Notes:

Jesus is asked by his disciples to teach them to pray, “just as John taught his disciples.” We do not have any record as to the specific prayer or prayers John taught his disciples, so trying to determine how Jesus’ prayer differed is purely speculative. We do know that the Jews had regular times of prayer during the day. We also know that there are some Jewish prayers that have some similarities to the prayer Jesus prays here.

We also know that Jesus’ prayer, which we call the Lord’s Prayer, focuses on our dependence on the Father, who is sovereign. He is the one who is holy, the one who provides daily sustenance, and forgives and protects us. If we include the “commentary” Jesus makes about prayer in verses 5-13, we also discover that God is one who gives, just like a good father gives. Although Jesus points out that it is because of the man asking for bread’s “shameless audacity” (NIV) that the man in the house gives him bread, the rest of Jesus’ comments point towards the goodness of God as the motivation for his giving good gifts. There is an emblematic relationship here: if earthly fathers can give good gifts, surely our heavenly Father can give gifts that are that much more valuable.

By the way, the culture in which Jesus and his followers lived was keenly aware of the importance of hospitality. A traveler would have been dependent upon someone to open their home for him to stay—there were no hotels. Three loaves of bread were the typical amount used during a meal and the bread would have been baked regularly, if not daily. The houses that were probably in the mind of Jesus in this passage were small one-room houses built very close to one another. Therefore, the man in the house would have to get up and make his way over his family who would have been asleep on mats on the floor, in order to get the man asking for bread his food. Everyone in the neighborhood would have probably heard this commotion and known the response—or lack there of—of the man being asked for food.

There is sort of a two-fold amazement of people’s response to Jesus casting out demons. First, if good was being done, why stop the good that was happening? It certainly points to the jealousy people at times feel for the success of others. It also may point to the people’s desire for Jesus to do the things he did—including healing—in the “right” sort of way. It is also interesting that someone would accuse Jesus of casting our demons in the name of the prince of demons. It makes no sense for someone on the side of the demons to defeat … the demons. Notice also Jesus attributes the presence of the kingdom of God as the reason for these demons being cast out.

As we read through the accounts of Jesus’ life, it seems surprising to us that the people were not more receptive to the power of Jesus. That is certainly the case in verses 29-32, where Jesus tells the people that Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba understand what is at hand. Why do the people not get it?

Jesus tells his followers that light is meant to illuminate, not to be hidden. Light that cannot be seen is of no use to anyone. If we allow ourselves to be filled with light, then we will also be able to demonstrate and share that light, as well.

Jesus concludes this chapter with a list of woes against the Pharisees and teachers of the law. The precipitating event here is Jesus not washing himself prior to a meal at the Pharisees house. Jesus explains that the concern of the Pharisees for their ceremonial washings outweighed their concern to show justice and love to others. In other words, one could wash and be as clean as clean could be, yet still not demonstrate the love they should have to others. Needless to say, Jesus’ response to these Pharisees and teachers did not engender himself to them and they began to try to find a way to catch him doing something wrong.

Discussion Questions:

Every week our lessons will include seven questions (really question sets) that you may either pick and choose those questions that best suit your family unit, or you may use one question set for each day.

  • Why do you think Luke points out that Jesus was praying in a “certain” place? How does Jesus’ prayer compare to many of the prayers that you pray? What is the same? What is different? Given the nature of this prayer, what do you think Jesus is trying to teach his disciples about prayer? (Luke 11.1-4)
  • In what ways have you seen someone be like the person being asked for the bread in this story, or perhaps a time you have been like this person yourself? What do you think was going through the mind of the person who was asking for the bread? In what ways have you been in his shoes during times of prayer? What examples can you give of the good gifts that are given by earthly fathers and your heavenly Father? (Luke 11.5-13)
  • Why do you think people would criticize Jesus even as he is doing good things, such as driving out demons? Why do we often try to negate the good of others around us? In what ways can we bless them, even if they are ministering in ways we are not? (Luke 11.14-28)
  • Do you think it would have been hard or easy to accept Jesus and his teaching if you had lived in his day? Why do you think this is the case for you? Why do you think people reject Jesus today even when they know better? (Luke 11.29-32)
  • How healthy are your eyes (spiritually – in the way Jesus is speaking of them here)? What sort of things would you point to in order to show the health of your or someone else’s eyes? What reasons does Jesus give that show the people he is talking to are healthy? (Luke 11.33-36)
  • Does it surprise you that Jesus would eat with a Pharisee given all that he has spoken about them up to this point? Why or why not? In what ways do you find yourself worrying about the little minutia of following Jesus, but perhaps missing some of the bigger picture of what it means to show justice and love? Why is it at times easier to do the former rather than the latter? (Luke 11.37-44)
  • If Jesus were to return today, who are the people he might treat like he did these teachers of the law? What sort of warnings do you take from his description to these teachers? (Luke 11.45-54)

Activities:

Every week this section will list possible activities you and your family unit can do. You may pick one or perhaps do several during the course of a week. All are intended to be suitable for any age.

  • Compare the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11 with other Jewish prayers you can find. What is the same? What is different? Why do you think there is a difference?
  • Research the idea of hospitality in Jesus’ day. How does a better understanding of hospitality help you understand Jesus words about prayer and asking for bread?
  • Jesus is criticized for not washing before his meal with the Pharisee. According to Jewish laws and customs, what should Jesus have done prior to this meal?
  • Make a list of ways you have been blessed by earthly parents in your life. Now, make a list of the ways you have been blessed by your heavenly Father. How do these lists compare? How do they spur you on to give good gifts in your own life?
  • Spend some time every day (perhaps morning, noon, and night) praying the prayer Jesus gives his disciples in Luke 11. Do not pray anything other than what he says. After a week of this, journal the impact this exercise had on your prayer life and your understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.
  • Consider what gifts you might give someone because of your love for them through Christ. Go and actually give them this gift.

Connect:

Find lessons, posts about the passages we are studying, and more information at 1homebiblestudy.org.

Find more information about our 1 Groups at 1groups.com.

Find out more information about South Plains at southplains.org.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @southplainscofc

Tag your posts with #1hbs.

by-nc-nd copyThis work by South Plains Church of Christ and Robert A. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attributions-NonCommerical-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.

Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Luke/Acts–Lesson 06

CC Image courtesy of Michael Zanussi on Flickr.

Week of October 18

Text:

Luke 9.51-10.42

Summary:

Luke’s gospel takes a turn—literally—for Jerusalem, where Jesus will make his final sacrifice. We begin to read about moments that build toward the crucifixion of Jesus, including seventy-two followers of Jesus going before him to proclaim the kingdom of God. As Jesus continues toward Jerusalem, the role of Messiah becomes increasingly clear based on the stories Luke includes in his gospel.

Text Notes:

When Jesus makes his turn toward Jerusalem (literally: “turns his face toward Jerusalem”) in 9.51, Luke begins to use what is commonly referred to as “travel indicators” throughout his gospel until Jesus actually arrives in Jerusalem in chapter 19. For instance, we read in 13.22: “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.” This example is obvious, but there are other markers as well, things like: “As they were walking along the road” (9.57). All of these markers make up a travel narrative, which through these literary devices help move Jesus toward his destination in Jerusalem. We need to understand that this journey is one where Jesus will give himself up to be sacrificed on the cross. It is more than just a summary of his travels. It has everything to do with his purpose here on earth.

The Jews and the Samaritans did not like one another and often went out of their way to avoid contact with each other. (This is what makes the story of the Good Samaritan so shocking.) When we see the Samaritans reject Jesus in 9.52-53, we should not be surprised. This rejection may have simply been due to the animosity between the two groups, but it also may have been the result of Jesus making his way to the temple in Jerusalem. Part of the conflict between these two groups was the result of the Jewish people destroying the temple of the Samaritans and rejecting their right to worship there. The Samaritans may have taken offense that Jesus was on his way to the temple. Jesus, they would have surmised, would have had the opportunity to worship in Samaria, but would have been seen as rejecting that opportunity by his journey to Jerusalem.

It is interesting to me that we are not told of the specifics of Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples attempt to “call fire down” on the Samaritans. We are simply told he rebuked them and then went on about his way. Notice that Jesus “turned” to rebuke them. The disciples desire for revenge actually served as a distraction to Jesus’ travel toward Jerusalem. Whatever his rebuke, we understand that the disciples did not understand Jesus’ role in offering salvation for all.

Luke records several occasions when crowds surround Jesus or when crowds seek him out. Jesus is obviously doing something to attract people, but following him is not as easy as one might presume. The cost of following Jesus is extremely high, as the examples Luke provides here point out. We might assume the burial of a father might be an excuse considered worthy of postponing following Jesus. In reality, the man here may have been going to help an aging father transition into “retirement” per se and then death. Because Jewish law held that people were to be buried that day, it seems unlikely that this man would have even been around Jesus had his father just passed away. He probably is asking to be able to continue to be a part of his family during his dad’s last days (Weeks? Months? Years, perhaps?) Put in that context, this text does not seem as harsh.

We should also note that Jesus does not say people should not plow. It is the turning back (being distracted about the task at hand) that is the issue. I think for us, we should assume that our occupations are not to be dismissed, but rather brought under the umbrella of proclaiming the kingdom. In what ways, we could ask, does your occupation (banker, student, teacher, etc.) support your vocation (follower of Jesus and proclaimer of God’s kingdom?)

We have already seen Jesus send out the Twelve (9.1-9) and there are similarities between the commission there and the one here for the seventy-two. (You may find Bible translations that have this number as seventy. Early manuscripts are split almost evenly between the two numbers. The meaning of the passage is not changed based on which number is chosen.) Two of the differences with this account include no indication that the seventy-two have been given power to drive out demons. They are, however, forerunners of Jesus and his travels. Notice they are sent to every town and place where he was about to go.

There have been times when I have heard of (and participated in) churches gathering the names of everyone in the neighborhood and praying for them by name as part of an evangelistic campaign to gather the harvest. What people seem to miss during those campaigns, however, is that is not the harvest that we are to pray for, but the harvesters. (Although, I would say there is nothing wrong with praying for individuals to come to know Jesus. It is just not the prayer that is prayed in this passage.)

I am not sure the seventy-two went away with a great feeling about what was to happen, given they were being sent out like “lambs among wolves.” I think I would have liked better odds. We do read, however, that the seventy-two are to find “people of peace,” that is, people receptive to the message of Christ. This is where they are to focus their efforts and they are told to stay at these houses, not move from place to place (similar to the instructions given the Twelve.) Some of the modern missional thinkers have appropriately latched on to this idea and encourage people going into areas where they are trying to win a hearing of the gospel to seek out those most receptive. Start with these people and allow their influence over the people they know to help the harvester proclaim the message of God.

As has been consistently the case throughout the entire gospel of Luke, proclamation of the kingdom of God is the primary message for the seventy-two, just like it was for the Twelve, and just like it was for Jesus.

Verses 21-22 show the relationship between Jesus and his Father. One does not know one of them without knowing the other and vice versa. This will be important in the next chapter when Jesus begins to teach on prayer. We understand the Father—and his goodness—in part because of the life of Jesus.

We may be familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan. It is one of our favorite stories to tell our children during Sunday School. It is a shocking story, as most parables are, because of the actions of the characters involved. None of their actions are consistent with our expectations.

The story is set up by a question from an expert in the law and is designed to test Jesus. As he will do throughout this encounter, Jesus turns the question back on the man, who answers correctly according to Jesus. Inheriting eternal life, based on this man’s understanding of the Jewish law, is found in the summary of the greatest command (which is actually two commands): Love God and love your neighbor. Loving God would have been found in the shema of Deuteronomy 6, which all good Jews would have known and understood as foundational to their understanding of faithful living before Yahweh. The second command was not always as clearly defined. Some would have said it had to do with keeping the Sabbath, but loving your neighbor is not without precedent in the writings of the rabbis. The command itself was from Leviticus 19.8, which instructs the people not to hold grudges, but to love your neighbor.

We are told that the man seeks to justify himself, so tries to narrow down the true definition of a neighbor. This is not as unheard of as we might like to make it out to be. We tend to gravitate toward people most like us. For instance, if we were having a day to invite our neighbors to church, we probably would think of the people we were closest to or whom looked most like our church brethren and us. The biker next door might be overlooked in order to invite the person the next house down who has just been away from church for several years.

Jesus turns the question back on the expert by telling him a story about a traveler who was beat up and left for dead. A priest (perhaps on his way to Jerusalem to perform his priestly duties in the temple) passes by without helping him and a Levite (think: righteous man, forbidden to touch dead bodies) does the same. We would think these would be the most likely to help a brother out, but instead, they may have felt they had reasons to ignore him. If this man had passed away—really, wouldn’t it have been hard to tell if a half-dead man might not be all the way dead?—then these two travelers would have defiled themselves by offering aid.

A Samaritan, remember the conflict that had already been alluded to by Luke, did not have the same qualms and stopped to render aid. This is shocking to most Jews, probably because they would have assumed someone as backwater as a Samaritan didn’t have it in his heart to help anyone out, especially not a Jew. This man does help and offers unlimited resources to help get this man back on his feet.

Which one of these men, Jesus asks, was a neighbor? The question is not who deserved to be treated as a neighbor, but who acted like a neighbor. Here is the key to understanding what it means to inherit eternal life. It is not do you perform the bare minimum, but do you act from the heart to show the love of God and love for your neighbor. Show mercy on those who need the most mercy, Jesus tells this expert … and us.

Our section closes with a story of Mary and Martha hosting Jesus in their home. We all know the amount of preparations required to host someone in our home: cleaning, food being purchased and prepared, and hospitality being shown. To Martha, Mary was not holding up her end of the bargain because she spent her time listening to their guest, rather than showing hospitality to him. The busyness of following Jesus can at times overwhelm our ability to actually follow him. In this way, we certainly relate to Martha’s concerns. Focus on Jesus is what should concern us most, not the anxieties of the other things.

Discussion Questions:

Every week our lessons will include seven questions (really question sets) that you may either pick and choose those questions that best suit your family unit, or you may use one question set for each day.

  • Why do you think Jesus was so “resolute” to head to Jerusalem? Based on what you have read in the gospel of Luke up to this point, what do you expect to happen once Jesus gets there? Do you think the disciples understood what was to happen? Give examples as to why you think this is the case. (Luke 9.51-56)
  • In what ways would you assume burying your father would be a legitimate request to delay going with Jesus? What do Jesus’ instructions here tell us about the importance of how we follow Jesus? In what ways does proclaiming the kingdom of God supersede everything else we do? How can you proclaim the kingdom of God at your work, your school, or at play today? (Luke 9.57-62)
  • How does Jesus sending out the seventy-two compare to his sending out the Twelve? Why is it so important for us to pray for workers to be sent out into the harvest? In what ways have you found “people of peace” as you have moved to a new town or a new job? How comforting is it to know that when people reject you, they reject Jesus? (Luke 10.1-16)
  • Why does Jesus rejoice in verses 21-22? As you read through these two verses, what stands out to you? How important is our understanding of Jesus for our understanding of the Father? In what ways have you personally sensed a better understanding of the Father through your study of Jesus? (Luke 10.17-24)
  • Why would this expert of the law have wanted to test Jesus? What do you think this expert was trying to prove or discover? How do you think your life would be different if before doing anything you decided to do everything you did based on the following criteria: Does it show love to God? Does it show love to my neighbor? (Luke 10.25-28)
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you acted like the priest or the Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan? What about a situation where you acted like the Samaritan? Why would this story have been so shocking to Jesus’ hearers and to Luke’s readers? Do you think this expert expected Jesus to turn the question of neighbor back on him? Why is it much easier for us to determine who qualifies as a neighbor than it is to actually go out and be a neighbor? (Luke 10.29-37)
  • Are you a Mary or a Martha? Why do you think this is the case? In what ways do you see individuals being Martha’s when they should be Mary’s? Why do you think it is so easy to be focused on all of the preparations of following Jesus to the point of missing out on the important parts of actually following him? (Luke 10.38-42)

Activities:

Every week this section will list possible activities you and your family unit can do. You may pick one or perhaps do several during the course of a week. All are intended to be suitable for any age.

  • From the time Jesus “turns his face” toward Jerusalem until the time he actually arrives in Jerusalem (chapter 19), Luke will give literary markers that indicate the progression of Jesus along his journey to Jerusalem. Go through these chapters and record all of these markers or “travel indicators,” as they are sometimes called.
  • Using a printed Bible map, go through these chapters again, along with your list of travel indicators, and draw a map showing the progression of Jesus toward Jerusalem.
  • Create a word art picture using the two-part greatest command given by the expert of the law: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
  • Instead of looking for people who qualify as your neighbor, find someone on your block or that you run into on a regular basis that you can be a neighbor to. What sorts of things best show this person your love and the love of God? Go do it.
  • List the things in your life that you spend time giving much of your attention and energy to that in reality, are worries that should be replaced with trust in God. Be sure to spend time this week in devotion to God as you do worrying about those things.

Connect:

Find lessons, posts about the passages we are studying, and more information at 1homebiblestudy.org.

Find more information about our 1 Groups at 1groups.com.

Find out more information about South Plains at southplains.org.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @southplainscofc

Tag your posts with #1hbs.

 

by-nc-nd copyThis work by South Plains Church of Christ and Robert A. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attributions-NonCommerical-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.

Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Luke/Acts–Lesson 04

Week of October 4

CC Image courtesy of Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. on Flickr.

Text:

Luke 7-8

Summary:

Jesus continues to demonstrate his role as the Son of God through demonstrations of his power over death, demons and the elements. Jesus is a prophet, even when the circumstances might seem to indicate otherwise.

Text Notes:

We begin our look at the texts for this week with a story of Jesus healing the servant of a centurion. There are several remarkable moments in this story. First is the fact that Jesus would be inclined to heal someone from the household of a centurion. This would have been a Roman soldier (with a large regiment under him) although to his credit, he was known as someone sympathetic to the Jews, even building their synagogue for them. This centurion demonstrates a great amount of faith in Jesus, knowing he does not even have to come to the house of the centurion to heal the servant. Jesus tells the people that even in Israel he has not found such faith. Although we have seen some hints of the tension that would develop between the Jewish leaders and Jesus, this is the first time that the contrast has been between a Gentile and the nation of Israel.

Jesus moves on from Capernaum, where he encounters a widow who lost her only son. This would have been a significant moment of crisis in Jesus’ day, for widow women typically did not go get jobs to make ends meet. So on the one hand this story demonstrates Jesus’ compassion for a woman who lost her son, but even more crucial to this compassion is the fact that this woman was left without anyone to take care of her. Jesus’ healing provides her with her safety net, if you will, that would have been lost with the passing of her son.

The two stories above also are important to Luke’s narrative because of their similarities to the story of the healing of Naaman in 1 Kings 5 and the widow for whom Elijah heals her son in 1 Kings 17. Jesus (in Luke 4.14-30) had used both of these examples when he tells the people the prophecy of Isaiah had been fulfilled in their hearing. So not only was Jesus seen as a prophet, he acted like one through his ability to heal in similar ways.

Although we as Luke’s readers understand Jesus as the one to come as Messiah, his actions did not always match up with the expectations people had of a Messiah. John, I think, would have been one of those people. In Luke 7.18-35, John sends his followers to Jesus in order to determine if Jesus really is the one to come. Notice that Jesus does not give an emphatic “Yes” or “Of course,” which we might expect. He instead gives John’s disciples a list of things happening that actually show the fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy of Luke 4. It is not just Jesus’s words that demonstrate his role as the Son of God, but his actions reinforce traditionally held prophecies for the Messiah. In other words: “Yes, my life shows I am the one to come.”

Luke again brings up the idea of Jesus as a prophet by telling the story of Jesus being anointed by a sinful woman. The setting is a dinner party hosted by Simon, a Pharisee. This might be where we expect Jesus to hang out, except that a woman who was a known sinner shows up and begins to anoint Jesus’ feet. We are not told her sin or even how she got into the dinner, but everyone in attendance knows this woman is a sinner. Simon in many ways asks a similar question John’s disciples ask: Is this man really a prophet, for prophets would not allow sinful people to touch them.

What follows is a contrast between the actions of this woman and Simon the host. In three different ways, Simon falls short of giving Jesus the hospitality that would have been normal yet is shown by this woman: she washes Jesus’ feet, she kisses him, and she anoints his feet. Simon’s lack of attention to hospitality is not excused in spite of his “righteous standing” any more that the woman’s actions are ignored for her lack of standing. In fact, Jesus commends her for her faith and forgives her sins.

Chapter 8 opens with the parable of the sower, indicating the different reactions to people’s hearing of the word of God. Matthew places this parable in the context of others describing the fact that some people will not accept the word of God and it serves as almost a word of encouragement to the people hearing Jesus’ words. Here the parable is set next to the story of allowing ones light shine instead of hiding it. It would seem that Luke’s purpose for both of these stories is more along the lines of hear and react in ways appropriate to that hearing. Let your light shine.

Two more major stories in chapter 8 serve to demonstrate the power of Jesus. First, he heals a man who was possessed by demons. As is often the case, the demons recognize Jesus for who he is (even when those who probably should most recognize him do not). The man is healed, the people are amazed, and Jesus—similar to the stories of letting your light shine—instructs the man to tell others what God has done for him. In a sense, he too is told to shine his light, he just has a much more dramatic understanding of God’s actions than others might.

Finally, Jesus is on his way to heal the daughter of a synagogue leader who was dying. As he is making his way to her house, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years touches him. He immediately stops to inquire as to whom touched him. As you read this story, you get a picture of a mass crowd pushing and shoving around Jesus. In the chaos, it would be impossible for a normal man to realize the edge of his cloak had been touched. Jesus’ recognition of this fact is just one of the amazing aspects of this story.

The Greek text indicates that the bleeding this woman was dealing with was related to her menstrual cycle, which would have, according to Jewish laws, made Jesus unclean the moment he was touched by her. Perhaps this is part of the reason she sought to just touch the edge of his garment in private, so as to not make a big deal about her condition. Rather than condemn the woman for making him unclean (notice there is nothing said about being clean or unclean in Luke’s text), Jesus heals this woman because of, he says, her faith.

Jesus goes on to the house of Jairus, where Jesus learns his daughter has passed away, although someone obviously forgets to tell Jesus. He goes into the little girl and commands her to get up, which she does.

It is interesting the number of times a woman has figured into the stories of chapters 7 and 8. A widow’s son is raised, a sinful woman anoints Jesus, there are a large number of woman traveling and supporting Jesus (Luke 8.1-3), and a dead girl and a sick woman are both healed by Jesus. Luke takes great care to mention these interactions with Jesus, which would have been unusual in that day and age. Be sure to take note, both here and in chapters to come of the inclusion of women.

Discussion Questions:

Every week our lessons will include seven questions (really question sets) that you may either pick and choose those questions that best suit your family unit, or you may use one question set for each day.

  • What reasons would Jesus have to help the widow woman from Nain? What individuals or groups of people can you think of whom might find themselves in a situation where they are unable to help themselves? What sort of things can you do to help them in their circumstances? In what ways is it important for Luke to us to read that the people identified Jesus as a great prophet? (Luke 7.1-17)
  • Why might John the Baptist question whether Jesus was “the one who is to come?” Do you think his question is a question of doubt or simply a desire to gather information? Prior to reading this passage, how might you have expected Jesus to answer John’s question? Are you surprised at the things Jesus mentions in answering John’s question? Why or why not? (Luke 7.18-35)
  • In what ways is the Pharisee Simon’s reaction to a sinful woman approaching and touching Jesus a normal response? How do we avoid being touched by “sinners” today? In what ways does Jesus’ response address our desire to avoid sinners? Simon assumes Jesus is not a prophet. How do we know—from this passage and others—that he is? (Luke 7.36-50)
  • In what ways have you seen people receive the word of God like Jesus describes in the parable of the sower, only to have the result also match what we read? What do you think Jesus’ point was in telling this parable? In what ways do you see yourself in this story? (Luke 8.1-15)
  • We understand Jesus’ instruction about being a lamp to refer to how we hear and react to the word of God. In what ways have you seen people hear the word and hide it under a jar or the bed? In what ways have you seen people shine their lights, to use the lyrics from the song? How can we do a better job of shining our lights? (Luke 8.16-25)
  • How do you think it would have felt to be the demon-possessed man living in the tombs? What was his response after Jesus had driven out the demons? How do you respond when you hear the good news of Jesus and your life is changed? In what ways are you diligent in telling others what God has done for you? (Luke 8.26-39)
  • What examples of Jesus’ power do we see in the story of the dead girl and the sick woman? How do you think you would have responded to these examples had you been in the crowd with Jesus that day? How much faith do you sense in both the leader of the synagogue and the woman who had been bleeding? (Luke 8.40-56)

Activities:

Every week this section will list possible activities you and your family unit can do. You may pick one or perhaps do several during the course of a week. All are intended to be suitable for any age.

  • Luke is very intentional about showing us the ways that Jesus was a prophet or at the very least, the fulfillment of prophesies. Using some Bible study software or a concordance, find all of the occasions Luke uses the term prophet or the like. Based on his usages, what sort of picture do we get of Jesus as a prophet?
  • Jesus is seen including and interacting with women throughout the gospel of Luke. Go through the gospel, listing all of the women with whom Jesus has interactions. Compare Luke’s gospel with the other three. How do these lists compare? Why do you think Luke spends as much time as he does including women in his narrative?
  • Draw a before and after picture of the demon-possessed man from Gerasenes.
  • Make a list of all of the things God has done for you. In what ways does listing these things help you see them better? How can we do a better job of seeing things that happen in our lives as a result of God’s working?
  • Take the list you made above and tell people about some of the things on your list, much like the demon-possessed man was instructed to tell what God had done for him.
  • In what ways do you show your light? In what ways do you hide it? Spend time this week working on doing a better job showing your light to others.

Connect:

Find lessons, posts about the passages we are studying, and more information at 1homebiblestudy.org.

Find more information about our 1 Groups at 1groups.com.

Find out more information about South Plains at southplains.org.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @southplainscofc

Tag your posts with #1hbs.

by-nc-nd copyThis work by South Plains Church of Christ and Robert A. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attributions-NonCommerical-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.

Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission. All rights reserved.