Weekly Word: Lesson 7
Luke: Message of Hope
PERSON OF HOPE (Part II):
Children often want to be just like their parents. It is amusing to watch a little boy who tries to walk with the same swagger his father has. Little girls like to wear their mother’s shoes, dresses and jewelry. We, too, are often drawn to people we admire and aspire to be like them. Who is one of those people in your life? What are the traits that draw you to respect that person?
Luke 11 begins by telling us that the disciples wanted to be like their leader, and they were quite specific regarding the trait they wanted to emulate. We want to be like Jesus, too. What was He like?
DAY ONE: Jesus – Person of Prayer. Luke 11:1-13
A. Jesus illustrates model prayer. Luke 11:1-4 1
- If you were one of Jesus’ disciples, what would you ask Him to teach you? Perhaps it would be how to preach effectively, or maybe it would be a course on miracles. These disciples however saw something more fundamental that they wanted and needed.
- What was Jesus doing which precipitated this question?
- This same trait was characteristic of John the Baptist. Can a person have an effective ministry from God’s perspective without this trait?
- Although many of us have memorized and recite “The Lord’s Prayer,” it is more beneficial as a pattern. It begins by addressing God as “Father” (Abba). What does that imply about the relationship required to pray anything other than the “sinner’s prayer?”
- The next phrases reflect worship of God for who He is, and a prayer for His will to be done, not only in heaven, but on earth and in my life in such a way that God’s reputation is seen as holy by others.
- Verse 3 acknowledges our legitimate human needs. We are invited to bring even the most ordinary needs to God.
- Does verse 4 convict you? It reflects our relationship with God. If we have truly been forgiven, is there any legitimate reason for withholding forgiveness from another person? (Remember Romans 5:8)
- The last phrase admits how easily we are drawn to sin in certain situations. I Corinthians 10:13 is part of the answer regarding the help we need.
B. Jesus illustrates God’s gracious response. Luke 11:5-13
- Can we be confident that God will hear our prayers? Sometimes it seems that we wait a long time for an answer. Sometimes God says, “no,” and it is not until later that we understand the wisdom of His response.
- This parable is one of contrasts. What is the attitude of the friend in verses 7-8? Why does he finally answer the request for bread?
- Contrast this with the attitude of God in verses 9-10. The difference is in the relationship. Our Father loves us and is willing to answer our prayers. (Jeremiah 33:3) Our friend is only available to help us “sometimes.” God is available 24/7/365!
- We as human parents give good gifts to our children which will not harm them (verse 11-12). This illustration helps us understand why God sometimes delays His answers and at other times says, “no.” God, our good heavenly Father, gives good gifts, not harmful ones.
- How does this parable also illustrate perseverance (seek) and a bold intensity (knock) on our part as we ask? We pray with persistence not to convince God to answer, but to align ourselves with His will so He can trust us with His answer. 2
DAY TWO: Jesus – Person with Divine Power. Luke 11:14-36
A. Jesus drives out demon. Luke 11:14-28
- The crowd gave two challenges in verses 15-16. Jesus quickly dispensed with the first objection regarding whose power He was using when He cast out the demon in verse 14. Why does the argument of verse 15 not make sense according to verses 17-19?
- What power does Jesus have according to verse 20?
- The “strong man” represents Satan. “Someone stronger” is Jesus. (Notice no one denied Jesus’ ability to cast out demons, thus tacitly admitting that Jesus was stronger than Satan.)
- One cannot be neutral in this spiritual battle according to verse 23. If you are not a follower of Jesus, then whose side are you on?
- Regardless of who exorcises a demon, what is the end result for the person if they do not invite Jesus into their life? (verses 24-26) Regeneration, not mere reformation is needed.
- Look at verse 28. How do we move from Satan’s side to Jesus’ side (the key to being blessed)?
B. Jesus gives sign of Jonah. Luke 11:29-32
- The second challenge from verse 16 sounded reasonable on the surface, but this was a challenge from unbelief. There had already been more than adequate evidence for faith.
- If you need to be refreshed regarding the story of Jonah, refer to Jonah 1:17-2:10. After 3 days inside the fish, Jonah was deposited onto dry land. Compare this to Jesus who rose from the grave on the third day. The resurrection is still the most powerful evidence we have been given for Jesus’ deity.
- The Queen of Sheba traveled to hear Solomon’s wisdom. The men of Nineveh responded to Jonah’s preaching. It wasn’t a miracle these people needed, but to respond to the words of Jesus. If the people listening to Jesus speak were more accountable to respond to the truth than those of the Old Testament, won’t He hold us more accountable yet?
C. Jesus gives illustration of lamp. Luke 11:33-36
- Why couldn’t the crowd understand who Jesus was? Jesus gives the following illustration.
- The Word of God is a light in our world (Psalm 119:105). In order for it to do us any good, we must “open our eyes” and receive it (Psalm 119:130). We do this by trusting and receiving Jesus who is the “light of the world” (John 8:12). What does John 8:24 say is the consequence of having “bad eyes” (not choosing to believe in the “light of the world”)?
DAY THREE: Jesus – Person of Integrity. Luke 11:37-12:12
A. Jesus denounces hypocrisy. Luke 11:37-54
- The scene opens on Jesus eating with a Pharisee. Jesus had bypassed a ceremonial tradition of the Pharisees. How did Jesus’ words in verses 39-41 reveal that being religious on the outside when one’s heart attitude is unrighteous is actually hypocrisy? Does God care about the inside of a person, the outside, or both? In this context, why do you think Jesus said giving to the poor from the heart would make them clean?
- Jesus pronounced three “woes” on the Pharisees which revealed their hypocrisy. From verses 42-44, the way the Pharisees practiced their religion revealed the true attitudes of their hearts. Pharisees were careful to mark graves so they wouldn’t inadvertently be ceremonially defiled by contact with a dead body. Therefore what do Jesus’ words of verse 44 imply about their spiritual lives and therefore their impact on others?
- Jesus then pronounced three “woes” on the experts in the law for their hypocritical legalism (verses 46-52). Their practice and preaching of their religion actually prevented people from receiving the true knowledge of God. How does legalism do that today?
- This section causes me to stop and examine myself! When one has been a church-goer for many years, it is easy to become superficial in the practice of one’s “religion” rather than passionate in one’s relationship with the Lord. Is there any area of my life in which I am a hypocrite? Is my hypocrisy preventing someone else from clearly seeing the light of Jesus? Will you stop with me right now and deal with this issue before the Lord?
B. Jesus encourages disciples. Luke 12:1-12
- We live in two worlds, material and spiritual, which are often in conflict. What appears wise in one “world” may be foolish in the other. Jesus gives a serious warning: Don’t be contaminated by the same sin of hypocrisy with which the Pharisees are afflicted.
- After Jesus criticized the religious leaders, their response in Luke 11:53 was fierce opposition. Jesus’ followers could expect the same thing. What command did Jesus give in Luke 12:4?
- We might be tempted to compromise to protect ourselves, so verses 4-7 explain why we should fear God and not fear people. Explain the two reasons.
- What additional, very powerful reason does Jesus give in verses 8-9?
- Verse 10 seems to elaborate (in terms difficult for us to understand) on what “publicly disowning Jesus” means. Commentators think this may mean a persistent refusal to repent and receive the good news when convicted by the Holy Spirit. There is no “plan B” (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) so if we reject the good news of Jesus, we have no hope.
- It’s fine to say “don’t be afraid” (verse 4) but the reality is that some people will be persecuted for their faith. What then? What very practical promise does Jesus give in verses 11-12? Have you experienced this in your life?
DAY FOUR: Jesus – Coming King. Luke 12:13-13:9
A. The rich fool. Luke 12:13-34
- There is a connection between our choices on earth and our future in heaven. What warning does Jesus give in verse 15? How does Jesus illustrate the foolishness of wrong priorities in the parable of the rich fool?
- The principle in verse 21 reminds me of a story in which a shrewd businessman has a vision of heaven. People are being shown their mansions. He expects a large impressive building, but is given a ramshackle hut. “Why?” He asks. “Because that is all the material you sent ahead. The rest you used for your comfort on earth.”3 This does not contradict the necessity to plan for our material needs, but our attitude toward money reveals our level of trust in our Father. (verse 34)
- But what about those disciples who have given up everything to follow Jesus? They still need money for physical needs. How does Jesus answer their question in verses 22-30?
- What is the life principle in verse 31?
- What instruction (with a promise) is given in verses 32-33? Do you hear Jesus’ tender love?
B. The prepared servant. Luke 12:35-48
- Verse 35 gives the first way we prepare for Jesus’ return. What does “be dressed” and “keep your lamps burning” refer to? (See Isaiah 61:10; I Thessalonians 5:19 for ideas.)
- Underline the words “ready,” “waiting,” and “watching” in this passage.
- I am stunned by verse 37! It amazes me even more than the reward of verse 44!
- It is easy to become complacent, to trust in the status quo rather than the Word. You and I fit into the category of those who have been given much. Am I using what God has given me for His purpose? Sometimes I’m not. How shameful! Let us encourage each other to be faithful stewards until He returns!
C. The coming Judge. Luke 12:49-13:9
- “Now” is the time to choose which side we are on, because a time is coming when it will be too late, and to choose “neutrality” is to remain on the side which is against Jesus. Sadly, the death and resurrection of Jesus would bring division among people (verses 49-53).
- Those who watch the “signs of the times” can see that we are nearing the day when we stand not before a human judge, but before the Judge of the Universe. The sentence will be just and the sentence will be final. Don’t wait to make things right (verses 54-59).
- Those who suffer on earth are not more guilty than those who don’t. All need to repent. (13:1-5)
- Israel itself (the fig tree) had been well-cared for yet had not produced spiritual fruit. Jesus had been pleading with Israel. If they continued to reject Him, they would be “cut down” as a nation (13:6-9). In fact, that happened in 70 AD.
DAY FIVE: Jesus – Person of Compassion. Luke 13:10-35
A. The compassionate healer. Luke 13:10-17
- It seems this woman was a faithful member of the synagogue, yet she was in dire physical straits. How did Jesus show compassion for her both in the way he healed and in his defense of her healing?
- The mustard seed parable illustrates the fact that the earthly kingdom of God would grow so abnormally large that it would be able to support “birds” (followers of Satan).
- The yeast parable illustrates the pervasive nature of the teaching of “counterfeit Christians” (Luke 13:18-21). 4
B. The compassionate savior. Luke 13:22-35
- II Peter 3:9 tells us that Jesus doesn’t want anyone to perish, so we see in Luke that He did everything possible to provide a way of salvation. In verse 23, someone asked how many would be saved. Jesus responded by telling him to be sure he didn’t neglect to avail himself of the means of salvation.
- Verse 25 states there will be a day when one’s opportunity is gone.
- What do verses 26-27 imply about the necessity of a personal relationship with Jesus?
- What surprises will there be in heaven from verses 28-30?
- How did Jesus verbalize His commitment to fulfill His Father’s will in verses 31-33?
- Although Israel as a nation rejected Jesus, what was Jesus’ heart attitude toward her?
- Jesus, the Son of God, can’t be characterized by just one or two attributes. From this lesson, what traits stand out to you? How do they cause you to love and trust Him more?
- The trait which I would most like to characterize my life is prayer. Which of these traits would you most like to be true of you? Journal your desire first as a prayer. Then journal a plan for growing in that area and ask for the Holy Spirit’s enabling.
1 This passage is covered in more depth in the archived Matthew study, lesson #5, Day 2. (this content is currently not directly available as we are migrating our past archives to our Thrive Connection site)
2 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Volume 1. (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989) p. 215.
3 Paraphrased from: Henry Van Dyke, The Mansion. (New York and London: Harper and Brothers Publisher, 1911).
4 This passage is covered in more depth in the archived Matthew study, lesson #9, Day 3. (this content is currently not directly available as we are migrating our past archives to our Thrive Connection site)
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