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A Word from Kay Daigle on how to use the resources for this study…I want to encourage you to complete the personal lesson below before you click on any of the accompanying elements that may be found with this lesson (audio lecture, manuscript, PowerPoint, or handout). This study was written to help you maximize your personal spiritual growth. That means that you first spend time with God through His word, and then hopefully, discuss what you learned with a small group of women. After that, if you want to hear the audio (or read the manuscript) and follow the PowerPoint, filling in the handout, then that is a great time to do it! I cannot cover all the verses in depth, but you can read and study them for yourself. It is best for you to think through the passages before hearing what anyone else thinks, even me! You will find some lessons without lectures. At our church we use some of those weeks to spend extra time in our small groups sharing life stories, having a longer prayer time, or expressing how God is working in our lives.
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus in Luke 9:62 (NET)
This week we move into a new section of the book of Luke. We looked at the time of Jesus’ birth and preparation and then His ministry in Galilee. Luke 9:51 records the beginning of Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem, where He would be tortured, killed, buried and exalted. As recorded in Luke, it is not a straight line trip from Galilee to Jerusalem, but it is “a journey of destiny in which Jesus must meet His fate (Lk 13:31-15).”1
Go with Jesus as He takes His final journey. Learn from Him how to face life as He faced death.
Read Luke 9:51-56.
There are several translations of the Greek words for Jesus’ actions in v. 51. The NASB reads, “He was determined.” The NIV says, “Jesus resolutely set out.” The NET is similar: “Jesus set out resolutely.”
1. What understanding of Jesus’ attitudes or feelings do these words give you in the light of what He knew awaited Him in Jerusalem?
2. Jesus faced rejection all along this journey. What reason is given for the Samaritan’s attitude toward Jesus’ visit (v53)?
3. How did James and John react to the Samaritans? What did this reveal about their hearts?
Read Luke 9:57-62. The Precious Word from God is from this passage.
4. Considering Jesus’ responses to the three men who said they wanted to follow Him, what was He teaching about being His disciple?
5. Compare the attitudes of these three men to Jesus’ attitude in 9:51.
6.Sharing question: If someone were to look at the way you spend your time and your money, what priorities would they assign to your life? Why?
7.Responding to God: Confess the ways that you are like these three men. Recommit to follow Jesus and all that means, setting out resolutely as He did to what awaited Him.
Read Luke 10:1-16.
8. What did Jesus say that explained the seriousness of rejecting His messengers?
9. We are all called to be workers in the harvest, and the Bible gives us much instruction for that role. Consider what instructions for the workers are given in these few verses:
10.Sharing question: How are you doing with Jesus’ specific instructions to you as a worker in the harvest? Have you “put your hand to the plow” in reality? Why or why not?
Read Luke 10:17-24.
11. How were the disciples blessed more than prophets and kings? Explain Jesus’ words.
12.Sharing question: What advantages do you have in the United States and in your specific life situation that may bring you a stricter judgment than believers elsewhere?
13.Responding to God: Ask God to show you how to use those advantages for His glory. Listen for His voice and write down what He says to you. Resolutely set out to do what He tells you, rather than turn back from the work.
Most of you will already be familiar with Jesus’ parable.
Read Luke 10:25-37.
14. Describe the conversation that led to the parable.
The Jews of that day would have considered the Samaritan a traitor or at least a “bad guy”, but Jesus made him the hero of the story.
15. Contrast the attitudes of the lawyer (vv. 25-29) and the Samaritan.
16. Parables are stories with one main teaching. Write a one sentence statement of Jesus’ point in this story.
17. According to these verses how did Jesus model loving a neighbor?
18.Sharing question: Who is the one person or type of person who is most difficult for you to treat as your neighbor? Why? If you were the Samaritan and that person were the injured party, how would you have felt and what would you have done? (Be honest!)
19.Responding to God: Ask God to show you one specific way to love this person as yourself. Write down what you will do in the first person (I will . . .). Set out resolutely to do it! Be prepared to share your answer with your group.
The story of Mary and Martha is another golden nugget about women in this gospel. I so appreciate Luke’s giving us a better perspective of Jesus’ relationship with women! You may have heard and read this story to the point of annoyance. As you read it again, try to picture yourself right there in Martha’s house.
Read Luke 10:38-42.
20. Contrast Mary and Martha’s priorities.
21. Did Jesus devalue Martha’s service? Explain your answer.
22.Sharing question: In what ways are you serving Jesus? Why are you serving in those specific ways? For recognition? From guilt? Out of obedience? For its joy? Other motivations or combinations?
23.Sharing question: Make a list of the things in your life that distract you from time with God.
24.Responding to God: Pray over the list you made, writing down your thoughts about changes you need to make. Then, resolutely set out to do them, just as Jesus did. If you desire, write it as your weekly prayer request.
Read Luke 11:1-13.
Not only does Luke emphasize women in his gospel, but he also emphasizes prayer. We cannot truly come home to Jesus if we don’t take part in the hard work of prayer. The particular prayer Jesus prayed in this passage is usually called The Lord’s Prayer, but a more appropriate name may be The Disciple’s Prayer.2
25. In light of Jesus’ purpose in giving the prayer, why may that be a more appropriate name? What was Jesus doing when the disciple approached Him?
Many times we learn to pray with a pattern. We may pray in the order of ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication). Personally I like the PRAY pattern (praise, repent, ask, yield).
26. Do you see any pattern in Jesus’ prayer in topics and/or order? What insights do you have into prayer from this model prayer?
27. What lessons on prayer did Jesus teach in vv. 5-10?
29.Sharing question: What prayer request have you been praying persistently for the longest period of time? What has been difficult about continuing to pray?
30.Responding to God: Pray for the grace to set out resolutely to work hard in prayer for the things that you know are His will and His good gifts. Pray for the wisdom to know the difference.
The summer of 2001 was full of life changing events. I married John, my friend of almost seven years, moved to Dallas for the first time, got a new corporate job, and sent my new husband off to medical school. Things seemed so hopeful and wonderful for us both and I do not hesitate to say that my whole life was wrapped up in John. I had been very faithful to my relationship with God in college and was very involved with my church there as a leader. But at some point during our wedding, I unconsciously (and incorrectly) decided to make John “lord of my life.” Nothing could have been more crushing, as I would soon find out. Medical school proved to be far more challenging and time consuming than either of us ever expected, and because he is human and fallible, John was not always there for me. I felt so alone in this new, huge city, with no really good friends and no church home. I made many mistakes trying to deal with this, but I finally realized that the root of my troubles lied in my priorities, and where I had put my faith. I kept trying to lean on John and when he wasn’t there for me, I turned to worse and worse alternatives. If I had only leaned on God and trusted in Him, I know He would have been there for me in every way. God never lets us down, even if things are in His timing, He is ALWAYS there for us. But we have to rely on Him, put Him first, and seek Him. Fortunately, even when we don’t, He comes after us. During the summer of 2002 I forced myself to go to the Women’s Bible study at my church. Not only did God wrap His arms around me, but He put godly women in my life that are still in my study today. It’s still a daily, conscious struggle to put God first, but I have felt the consequences in my life and relationships when I don’t. There is no doubt in my mind that putting God first in my life increases both my joy in happy times and my strength during difficult times.
1 Bock, 179.
2 NET Bible Note 29, p. 1836.